disappearance of persistence, compilation of ephemera

scented plaster and OHP film, 2019

To portray the newly constructed memory, different materials were used. Visual imagery limits to our imagination because it provides the exact visualization to our perception. Olfaction, on the other hand, is difficult to observe and communicate, but has the characteristic of being volatile and limitless. I have created a set of experiments in order to show how our memory is delicate and how it can articulate as a form of non-visualized art.

The transient constructions of memories have a property of either abstract or faded mental visualization. To explain abstract imagery, the values extruded from the image are converted to components of olfaction. Research on this artistic practice has sought to define the classification of memory and to especially focus on the meaning and progress of autobiographical memory.

The transition of visual imagery into an olfactory experience not only demonstrates the process of how our autobiographical memory degrades through retrieval, but also provides simultaneous destruction of a sense which initially associates a memory through the characteristics of a scented material.

Classifying the colors for each scent was the foundational step towards visualizing the olfactory. Olfactory-visual synesthesia was used to create the color blocks for each oil. Each photographic image was uploaded to the Vision AI in the Google Cloud Platform to get the color dominance data. By connecting the comparable colors between the scent and the dominant color of the photograph, I could connect the matching scented oil for each photograph. This step was identically performed exactly the same way for each original digitalized photograph as well as for the layered image.

The scent for each original image was stored inside a glass bottle. The glass bottle shows how our memories are kept and stored for retrospection. In contrast to the scented bottles, the scent for the altered image was used as a material for plaster, as plaster retains the scent for a brief time. I placed the plaster at an adjusted height in order for the audience smell it while viewing the installed space. The exhibited space itself was a performative space, where the viewer could not only observe the visualized artwork but also have an olfactory experience along with the visuals.

Photo Credit:
Han Seok You

2019, Overview: Objects Are Closer Than They Appear, Sol Koffler Gallery, Providence RI