[-empyre-] PrseThetic Memories

A collaboration by  Roger Dean and Anne Brewster and myself was performed
with live sound by Roger at the DAC peformance night. Some people expressed
an interest in the piece-I paste a short blurb about it below.


ProseThetic Memories, by Anne Brewster and Hazel Smith (text) and Roger
Dean (sound and text programming).

ProseThetic Memories is a text written in Virtual Reality Modelling
Language and
for presentation on a split screen. On one half of the screen the text
scrolls in its
entirety. On the other half of the screen the text is subject to VRML
processing. This programming, and the interaction between the two halves
of the screen, simulates the action of memory. The correlated sound texture
is driven by a melody-generating programme, written by Roger Dean, which
presents 2 simultaneous versions of each of 3 melody lines. The events of
one version find memories in that of its partner, and there are
anticipations and overlaps within and between the melodies.

ProseThetic Memories is a collaborative, fictocritical  and cross-genre
text which combines prose, poetry, cultural theory and philosophy.  It
challenges traditional ideas about memory as a process of storage and
subsequent retrieval.  Instead memory is seen as a dynamic process, in
which the present constantly transforms our impression of the past and vice
versa. In this way the very division of time into discrete past and present
components is called into question.   Important to the genesis of the piece
was Freud's notion of Nachtraglichkeit, "afterwardsness", the idea that
what is continually rewrites what has been.

The  concept of prosethesis is also central to the piece because
collaboration is itself a prosethetic process, involving the adoption of
others'  memories and preoccupations, and because memory is always
collective as well as individual.

Dr. Hazel Smith
Senior Research Fellow
School of Creative Communication
Deputy Director
University of Canberra Centre for Writing
Editor of Inflect http://www.ce.canberra.edu.au/inflect
University of Canberra
ACT 2601
phone 6201 5940
More about my creative work at

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