Sculpting Memory

Figure made during the Sculpting Memory workshop. (Credit: Danny Dubner)

Our memories are sculpted through the constant wrestling of forgetfulness and remembrance. Time is given a name and calendarized; we make sense of our past, present, and future as triplet brothers identified under the deceivingly named “I”. This universe of being sometimes talks about the weather twice a day, filling in gaps created by silence. We build the limits of what is private and public within our “I”, erecting walls (not paid for by Mexico) between this “I” and the “I” of the other, protecting certain borders strictly. And, although there is rarely unrestrained communication, language – in all its different forms –  can overcome its paradoxical nature as an abyss to become a tool through which our bridges to the “other” can be built. 

With the fundamental question of human interrelation in mind, a workshop that sought to push the limits of intimacy between a group of strangers was lead by Campus Conversations and the Emancipe Initiative on Saturday, April 28th. After getting through the uncomfortableness of looking one another in the eye for several minutes, we had conversations on memory and the triplets of time: “Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die? How do you feel about your relationship with your mother? Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it? When did you last cry in front of another person? Or by yourself?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RIJma1NMsE

The video above is a selective record of these conversations and experiences. By the end, we had each worked with clay and played with the fine-grained earth through filming. We scribbled down things that had stuck with us during the workshop: a letter to time, a reflection on falling in love, words that marked the day, a note to a future self, and more. The video is interwoven with splinters of a Saturday whose date is unimportant and will soon be forgotten. Remembrance will, eventually, orderlessly cement the instances of connection and unexpected emotion, integrating these experiences into the conception of the “I”. Memory is sculpted in this duality after all.