Reconfiguring Memory, 2012
Conference table, photograph, glass, steel, LED light
The laboratory is a permanent art installation, the result of a two-year collaboration between Shuli Sadé and Dr. André Fenton, Professor at the Center for Neural Science at New York University, at the Neurobiology of Cognition Laboratory. The 15 x 5 foot conference table is made of 32 photographic panel fragments of a single photograph of A New York City nightscape, incorporating urban and natural visual textures. Pixels are digitally removed from the photograph, signifying the stochastic loss and gain of information that is fundamental to memory storage. Architectural elements appear as immunoblots, a biochemical research technique that is routinely used for revealing the molecules that store and regulate memory. Striping in the images resembles the raster displays used to represent electrical discharge of neurons within brain networks.
Single channel looped Video 00:00:43
Place Cells recorded by Dr. André Fenton, who is at the Center for Neural Science, NYU
Remapping, a looped video metaphorically animates the synchronized neuronal events that underlay experience and knowledge using recordings of the bioelectrical discharge of place and head-direction cells converted to sound. Place cells are neurons in the hippocampus that exhibit a high rate of firing whenever an animal is in specific patches of an environment corresponding to the cell’s “place fields”. Head direction cells are neurons in related parts of the brain that act like compass, by only discharging rapidly when the head is pointing in a particular direction. Visual memory collected from a photograph is retaining and emitting information simultaneously, and here the voices of place cell and head direction cells pace the delivery of the information.