[ISEA2011] Paper: Adrianne Wortzel & Damon Loren Baker – Place in Mind: Towards A Dynamic Memory Palace


What is the form of memory? Is it a place? Can we go there? What can we bring back with us from this journey?

We propose to  devise a dynamic mnemonic structure that serves as a functioning model for visiting and re-visiting short and long term memory. The project is  being developed in collaboration with the Artificial intelligence Laboratory, University of Zurich, Switzerland and StudioBlue, NYC College of Technology, Brooklyn NY. This memory habitat will be based on morphology in nature related to robotics research in the AILab, and  a spatial mnemonic device, texts will be retrievable through virtual travel through the spaces in every direction, affording a journey through a sequence of texts that are responsive to their “neighbors.”  The machine would be built both as virtual in the AILab’s pre-existing Wonderland 3D virtual environment plus the Spatial Hypertext Editor under development at StudioBlue and also as a physical scaled architectural model.  .The content of this structure  will be diverse original and preexisting text fragments with relationship to their contexts. Language has become abbreviated, and as digital matter, broken down into tweet or text pulses. Our minds, histories, and imaginations situated in memory can potentially put forward a plethora of stories evolving over time. Fragmented texts, or phrases, will be re-purposed as “avatars” dynamically moving in relationship to each other and to the environment devised for them.

This paper will discuss interdisciplinary work on memory between psychologists, biologists, roboticists, neurologists, linguists and discuss archetypical models gleaned from those disciplines. This will include historical memory palaces, neural networks, linguistic structures, and biological systems.

  • Adrianne Wortzel, New York City College of Technology – CUNY, Department of Entertainment Technology and Emerging Technologies The CUNY Graduate Center Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program,  USA adriannewortzel.com
  • Damon Loren Baker is Assistant Professor of Interactive Entertainment at CUNY CityTech in Brooklyn, USA, where he teaches in the Emerging Media and Entertainment Technology programs. He conducts research as a member of StudioBlue and the City Tech PsychologyResearch Lab on the creation of tools for human computer interaction with virtual worlds for the humanities, arts, and social  sciences that are based on current research in cognitive science and implemented using current techniques in high performance computing and visualization. He is a member of ManifestAR, an augmented reality artists group featured in the New York Times, Wired, etc and exhibited in MoMA,ICA, The Venice Biennale, etc sometimes even with their permission. Previously he was the Associate Curator of Art, Design, and Technology at the Krannert Art Museum at UIUC where he curated the Intermedia Gallery and the CANVAS immersive virtual reality system for the public
    exhibition of virtual art objects with the Illinois Simulator Laboratory of the Beckman Institute, conducted research as member of the Creative Computing lab at the Siebel Center for Computer Science and the Cultural Informatics lab at NCSA, and performed as  a member of the UIUC Digital Collective. He came to UIUC from Brown University where he studied and worked at the Center for Computation and Visualization on spatial hypertext systems for the Department of Literary Arts.  He has also been a R+D Fellow at Wolfram
    Research, Music Director for a public radio station, and an archaeologist.

Full text (PDF) p. 2613-2616