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The Memory Plane


“The inverted cone” is a metaphor used in the book “Matter and Memory” from Henri Bergson: it’s a simple drawing: an inverted cone whose summit is inserted into a plane. The “plane P” as Bergson calls it is the plane of “my actual representation of the universe”. The cone can be shortly describe as different levels of memory and experiencesfocused on one point. When we move in present time our conscience is the summit ofthe cone.

The installation is an almost 1 to 1 transposition of the concept of Bergson into an optical process.

Slide pictures, buy on the fly market since ten years (collection of Sebastien Koeppel), have been used as basic memory material for the first presentation in Artefact Festival in Leuven (Belgium). Anonymous photographer, family pictures or industrial pedagogic slides are projected with a slide projector. Rather to enlarge the image on a screen, the still image is reduced by lenses and is concentrated on a “Digital mirror”.

DMD (Digital Micro-Mirror Device) are commonly used in video projector, they perform the “digital light processing” or DLP developed by Texas Instruments.

The installation uses a disassembled video projector, the micro mirror device was taken out from the video beamer and receives directly the reduced slide projection. The video beamer is connected to a camera that film the hand of the performer who organizes some simple pieces of papers (white or gray).

Each paper, open a window in the projection (white color triggers the micro mirror and project part of the photographic picture on the screen: the spectator see portion of the photographic picture through the video projection.

The performer chooses some details simply by moving the pieces of paper on a table. He discovers and recomposes slowly a global memory or performs a selective remind of a moment. Some pictures are trivial some other contains a large amount of information. Past and present medium are here in fusion in one shot: a projection of a moving plane (the video) is directly confronted with a still, there are two very different layers and they continue to carry their own visual basic properties.

The system produce a very particular composite image that have nothing to do with a digital
processing of a picture through a computer.

The system is working with all kind of positive film material, 35 mm, 8 mm, or 16 mm film as well as all kind of still pictures and also episcope projection which make possible to use all kind of paper / reproduction and archives.