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Shruti Agrawal

Memory Play: Creativity Understood through Embodied Skill Memory

In my thesis, I address the importance of having an embodied approach to memory. I am fascinated by how the body’s role in memory is much more complex than may appear at first sight. Whether it be riding a bike, walking, or talking, embodied memory of the everday experience, often immediate and implicit, becomes increasingly richer in contingency when we look deeper into its role in our lives. My visual component, therefore, through installation, explores memory more typically associated with the body. In particular, through audio, visual or haptic sensory experience, the installations try to investigate embodied memory as it differs from purely cognitive representations. First, I try to tap into haptic procedural memory by using an interactive computer program that is designed to immobilize people’s reliance on this skill-based memory. Much like in my thesis, the program is configured to draw attention to how this form of memory has strong ties to abstract, cognitive forms of memory representations. Soon after, audio fragments invite people to test their memory of body behavior. The fragments are made to question what exactly embodied representations might “look like”. Even though we may rarely, consciously and explicitly think of embodied forms, they are embedded into our memory and behavior in ways we still find difficult to imagine. Lastly, a short video, an interview of a women who works daily with Alzheimer patients, engages with the part of my thesis inspired by my aunt with Alzheimer’s, who, seemingly, is most herself, when she sings, as she did for years everyday.


Sector C: Art Practice and TechnologyAdvisers: Carin Berkowitz | Sharka Hyland (FNAR) | Christine Poggi (ARTH)