«I bring them to our River Lethe (…) from which, as soon as they have drunk down a long forgetfulness, they wash away by degrees the perplexity of their minds, and so wax young again»
– Desiderius Erasmus’ The Praise of Folly (1515)
I collect everything and so I am bound to reincarnate as a squirrel-like creature. I am a puzzle composed of my personal and collective memories. The loss of a piece of memory may prevent me from depicting the whole image, the cartography of who and why I am. Looking through an old notebook from secondary school, for example, I totally recall how I was caught by the teacher’s transparent, blue eyes, weary sweater (red, knitted), having the same incorrect answer as my classmate. I sense the smell (Disappointed, nauseatingly sweet; like sour milk). I had forgotten….or apparently not. All I needed was that notebook with mathematic formulae to remind me. How has this humiliating episode and every other little episode paved the road of my life, consciously, subconsciously? The memories persist apparently, chaotic as my basement storage, waiting to be unlocked and cleaned; waiting, only, for a key. That’s why I collect little keys. I don’t want to forget. I’m not ready to die yet. What’s the point in becoming a squirrel?
Does it worry you how much we rely on the computer to memorize our past life? How does this affect our own capacity to remember? Mine has deteriorated for sure, bit by bit. And so, to further ilustrate my point, my harddrive crashed recently of course, teaching me a lesson of early Alzheimers. I foresaw it would happen, but too lazy to take proactive measures, my last back-up was in 2009. So I might reincarnate as a sloth instead. What’s the point in becoming a sloth? Our actions have consequences; lack of actions also.
Interestingly, the information is still there, on the disk, but the deciphring key is lost or perhaps simply misplaced. So what, really? Sometimes bad things yield good results. Do I really need all that stuff? I’m being held captive by nostalgia. It’s claustrophobic! I want out. Funny how secrets travel, sings Davis Bowie in the last scene of David Lynch’s Lost Highway.
The dynamic sculpture Intitled (see above) is a roll of my private documents glued together, gradually increasing in diameter until the day I die. The title refers the (un)fortunate unplanned incident when I glued the working notes and title suggestions for this particular sculpture inside itself. Intitled is a compromise, rendering the information unavailable but reminding me it’s there – it’s real. It happened! It cannot be undone. There is no future without a past, but the past has no future. Nostalgia sucks. Get over it. I’m ready for something better.
Note: This text is partly based on «Glemme å Glemme», a text I wrote in 2010.