I spent the year after graduate school as a middle school teacher. Of the many things I took from that year, one aspect of experience was the thread that became (the)forget_me\knot. I saw several physical confrontations between students that year, and was struck by the realization that so many of them enjoyed filming the fights. They did not try to stop the fight, did not try to help, and did not make it easy for adults to – but they filmed it. After fights, we’d have to round up phones and delete all the footage. I grew fascinated with the ability of a screen to simultaneously detach a person from their humanity, and with the social media revolution – affirm it. Utilizing the collage style I found while creating La Chingada, I began to piece together poetry, movement, and other cultural artifacts that followed that thought. As the piece came together I realized that throughout recorded history, a single cry has echoed from the lips of humanity: Don’t forget me. (the)forget_me\knot became an immersive, multi-sensory piece that peered through the lenses we utilize to defy our mortality, and glimpsed into our determination to make even the most meaningless moments-and by extension, ourselves- last forever.
The hardest thing to stomach? We won’t.
Those photos in your attic? The people in them are dead.
We don’t know who her prom date was, or why his leg was in a cast. Their childhood home burned to the ground, and there’s a parking lot there now. But the lenses made us feel connected. And whatever the cost, for that moment, we were unforgettable.
It was important to the project that it generate more artistic observations of memory, and that the absurd beauty of the things we were creating compelled people to photograph or record them, creating a cycle of memory. In one room of the venue guests were invited to create soundscapes, and surrealist snapshots, or join Loren Phillips in acro-yoga. We also invited artists to join us for the show, sell their projects, and create new work as they watched. Artists such as Ruby Western, Kendra Strebig, and Sophie Wingland created work each evening that underscored performances, was given to audience members who joined the performance, and used to fill a growing gallery of work inspired by (the)forget_me\knot.