Amanda Ervin: Leading Memory

  • ©,

  • ©,



    Leading Memory


Creation Year:



    16 in x 49 in



Artist Statement:

    With new technologies emerging that will impose new thought patterns on our culture, one could easily imagine a situation where cameras using pattern recognition become decision makers for a lot of what we do. Without a human built database full of childhood (and adult) memories and ideas, a camera can only make so many associations on an absolute level.

    This work utilizes pattern-recognition technology to interpret the physical world. Key characters from an image representing a memory are replaced by images the computer has recognized as being those characters. If saved as part of an empty database, as in this situation, the abstract results impose new possibilities for what that memory might now be. When the program recognizes certain shapes as sad, happy, or arrogant, these abstract shapes take on an entirely new meaning.

    Exaggeration of these ideas becomes a ridiculous parody of human interpretation. However, it’s not such an outrageous stretch when compared to our own approach to categorizing and evaluating a given situation and its elements.

    The system used to create this work was attached to a computer capable of accessing much more information than human recollection and much more immediately via the internet or any other database. The experience of proof is lost through this process, and the computer has only the absolute word of its programmers to shape its understanding.