Our experiments with Sensing Memory have focused on the co-creation of urban films with young people which create new 'memories' of the city's future. Our first workshop in Manchester was proposed as a collective experiment with this ‘memory of the future’ using cinematic techniques inspired by early 20th C. filmmaker Dziga Vertov’. Young people were invited through posters distributed in public spaces around the city of Manchester, and the workshop itself was co-designed with several members of the Young Contemporaries who had previously worked with us at the Whitworth Gallery. This workshop led to subsequent workshops and film screenings at Ausland gallery, Berlin and Konstfack University of the Arts, Stockholm.
The film technologies we selected for these workshops included ‘sticky’ GoPro cameras which could be adhered to urban surfaces with either an adhesive or magnetic backing. These were paired with iPads and mobile projectors via Bluetooth. We saw this remote pairing as a way to enable the GoPros to function as 'eyes' which could be operationally detached from human perception, but remotely connected to human operators. Images captured from the GoPros were then edited on the iPads as we moved across the city, and eventually projected onto its material surfaces using mobile projectors. Using these techniques, we had the ambition of filming, editing, and screening a collaborative film in a single day. Could we create more open and pluralistic images of the city through a digital re-invention of early cinematic techniques? By re-imaging the city from the perspectives of its surfaces, could we begin to sense different memories of the city's future?
David Rousell (Creative Agency, Manifold Lab)
Laura Trafi-Prats (Manifold Lab, MMU)
Liz de Freitas (Manifold Lab, MMU)
LRabia Begum (Whitworth Young Contemporaries)