The Fastness of Forgetting: An Exploration of Memory, Narrative and Emergent Meaning

McCombe, Christine A. (2004) The Fastness of Forgetting: An Exploration of Memory, Narrative and Emergent Meaning. In Anastasiou, Pauline   & Trist, Karen  (Eds.) 2004 Image, Text and Sound Conference, School of Creative Media, RMIT, 21/22 September 2004, Trades Hall, Carlton, Melbourne.


In this paper I will discuss ‘The Fastness of Forgetting’, an evolving interdisciplinary work incorporating Sound, Image and Text in a variety of contexts. The main themes of the work are memory and the construction of narrative and meaning. The initial idea for ‘The Fastness of Forgetting’ came from Milan Kundera’s novel ‘Slowness’, in which he writes;

There is a secret bond between slowness and memory, between speed and forgetting… the degree of slowness is directly proportional to the intensity of memory; the degree of speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgetting.

This idea provided the starting point for the construction of the work, using temporality as a way of exploring the intangible, illusive nature of memory. Susanne Langer describes memory as “the great organiser of consciousness‿ [Langer, Feeling and Form] and the construction of ‘The Fastness of Forgetting’ attempts to organise sonic and visual ‘memories’ through time. The work explores the transience of memory and perception through various sequences of sonic and visual images, inviting different levels of experiential engagement.

The initial phase of the work has focussed on the development of a 30 minute performance work for Brisbane based new music ensemble, Topology. The visceral nature of live musical performance is juxtaposed with the more incorporeal qualities of diffused amplified sound, playing with the ideas of present and past, presence and absence.

The second phase of development of ‘The Fastness of Forgetting’ will be recontextualistaion of this material in a computer-based virtual interactive space, exploring the potential of non-linear narrative and multiple readings of the work in this context. ‘Memories’ can be ordered and constructed though the exploration of and interaction with the virtual space.

In this paper I will discuss the creative process and conceptual and theoretical framework of ‘The Fastness of Forgetting’ in relation to the initial live performance version of the work and the implications of its reinterpretation in a virtual interactive space.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

1,173 since deposited on 16 May 2005
43 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 1313
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 16 May 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:24

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page