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Ad Memoriam Charcoals

Memory Preservation and Destruction

The Ad Memoriam Charcoals and Clocks are an opportunity to manipulate the mechanism of the clock and to put it to our own uses. How can we use the mechanism of the perpetually turning clock to build a better relationship with time?


The Ad Memoriam Charcoals were created by members of the public through group workshops exploring the relationships we have with time through memory. Through a series of exercises, they created text and image based charcoals which represented a specific time to them.


Participants were asked to select a section of the drawings to preserve, and a smaller section to erase. These smaller sections were then placed on the Ad Memoriam Clocks – kinetic devices which run using a clockwork mechanism. These gradually erase the charcoal marks. Similarly to memory itself, the marks on the paper are never fully erased, but rather smudged, distorted and faded.


Through this process of preservation and erasure, participants are invited to be intentional in how they engage with their own personal histories by choosing what memories to take into the future.

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