Category Archives: Events

Speaker @ SciViz NYC on November 16th, 2018

Date: Friday November, 16, 2018
Event Time: 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Presentation Time: 9:45 – 10:15 a.m.
Presentation: Emotive Pathways: internal and external connections in sculptural form
Location: Davis Auditorium, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Sponsored by: Mount Sinai, Scientific American, S.P.A.R.K., Association of Medical Illustrators
Visit the SciViz NYC’s website for more information.

Talk Summary:
The forms and concepts in my work bridge art and science by exploring scientific advances that increase our understanding of psychological and neurological landscapes, including the nature of memory, brain physiology, neurobiology, and the mechanics of sensory experiences.

This talk will focus on the inspiration and realization of the Our Memories project, currently on view in Thomas Paine Park in downtown Manhattan as part of the NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program. The presentation will also include the public’s response as captured in film documentaries and social media.

Our Memories is informed by the nature of neurons and dendrites and investigates how our brains react to experiences and how memory functions. The work manifests as an audience participatory outdoor installation of translucent sculptures that contain cavities for participants to place color-coded memory stones. The sculptures take on the colors of the collective memories and come to life as they store more memories.

The memory stones are classified into six emotions based on Plutchik’s color wheel: love, anger, fear, surprise, joy and sadness. Participants transform the sculptures by recalling a powerful memory and then depositing the memory stone in a sculpture. This action is intended to visually incite viewers to consider the concept of the interior self, particularly how our experiences and memories are encoded and stored. This active act of recollection not only stirs up personal memories, it also physiologically generates a new, shared memory. Our Memories is both a collective memorial installation, made complete by thousands of individual memories, and an experience that connects us to our core and to one another.

Memories Recorded, Memories Stored Wins Best Short Documentary at the Amsterdam International Film Festival – August 15th

Movie Title: Memories Recorded, Memories Stored
Director: Jake Alexander McAfee
Festival website: Amsterdam International Film Festival
Trailer link on Youtube: Memories Recorded, Memories Stored
Award: Best Short Documentary

“Memories Recorded, Memories Stored” is a documentary which chronicles the creation of Our Memories“, a participatory artwork which weaves people’s lives and experiences into a collective memory. It has been nominated for Best Short Documentary and for a Jury Award at the Amsterdam International Film Festival where it will be screened on Wednesday, August 15, 2018, at 2:05 PM at the NH Amsterdam Hotel in screening room 2. Last year, Memories Recorded, Memories Stored was named “Best Documentary Short for Science and Education 2017” at the 6th Annual Madrid International Film Festival.

Our Memories in Thomas Paine Park, 2018, New York, NY

THE ARTIST AT THE CENTER OF THE FILM
The film follows sculptor Judith Modrak as she creates her first interactive art installation, Our Memories, on New York’s Governors Island. Modrak invites the public to complete the sculpture, sharing memories, represented by colored stones, to create a unique, transformative work of art.

Judith Modrak pictured with Our Memories in Central Park, 2018, New York, NY

“The public really seemed to enjoy participating in the installation and creating a collective memorial piece,” Modrak says, “and now it looks like the audience appreciates the film as well. It’s been an electrifying experience all around!”

OUR VISIONARY DIRECTOR
This is the fourth short film for director Jake Alexander McAfee, and his first documentary. McAfee’s previous films include “The Commute” for Goodwill Industries in 2014, and “2nd Life,” which won the HBO Best Short Film Award for 2015, and qualified for Academy Award Consideration for Best Live Action Short Film. “2nd Life” caught the attention of Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard, who is now a mentor to Jake and his blossoming career.  “My vision for the film was to highlight Judith’s style and artistic aesthetic.” McAfee says, “more importantly, I wanted to capture Judith’s drive and spirit as an artist, and her journey to create Our Memories. At the same time I wanted the film to reflect the impact the sculptures had on the public,” says McAfee, ” its effect on them, both their interaction with and reaction to the work.”
 

PRODUCING A WINNING PROJECT
After many successful years as a Vice President of technology firms, Mark Lobene is now a full-time actor, producer and founder of Gramercy Empire Productions LLC. He met McAfee while co-starring in “2nd Life.” “Working with Jake once again was a real pleasure. I knew his sensitivity and strong narrative sense would come through on this project. We were honored in Madrid and we’re very thankful for this vote of confidence in our story.” Lobene says,”making this documentary fulfilled a long-held desire of mine. We were able to capture the creation of a sculptor’s work and capture the audience reaction and appreciation in one film. This, to me, was a complete feedback loop of the artistic process.”
 
“Often we see the completed work in a gallery, or we see it being created, but rarely do we see the start to finish which, in my opinion, should always include the viewer’s interaction. Having sculpture that was designed to be interactive, made this story that much more compelling.” The film was screened at the Queens World Film Festival and won an award in Madrid. “We appreciate the recognition from the Madrid International Film Festival, “ Lobene says, “and we hope to continue showing this documentary around the world and we appreciate all the interest in it.”Our Memories in Central Park, 2018, New York, NY

 

Our Memories in Thomas Paine Park

Date: May 2018 – March 2019
Park is open daily: 6 a.m. until midnight
Opening Reception: May 4th from 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Thomas Paine Park, Lafayette Street and Worth Street, New York, NY 10007
Press Release PDF
Our Memories at Thomas Paine Park

Our Memories is an evolving audience participatory installation. Recognizing the need to record one’s personal experience, these neuron inspired sculptures contain cavities in which the participants place a color-coded “memory stone”. Viewers recall a powerful memory and then share the memory by depositing it in a sculpture. The “memory stones” are color-coded into six emotive categories: joy, anger, love, sadness, fear, and surprise. New sculptures will be filled during one-day events on April 20th at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park and May 4th in Thomas Paine Park. The seven sculptures will then be on view for 10 months. The Our Memories project is both a collective memorial piece, made complete by thousands of individual memories from people all over the world, and an experience that connects us to our core and to one another.

Special thanks to the NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program, and to the contributions of private donors in making this exhibition possible.

For over 50 years, NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program has brought contemporary public artworks to the city’s parks, making New York City one of the world’s largest open-air galleries. The agency has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Since 1967, NYC Parks has collaborated with arts organizations and artists to produce over 2,000 public artworks by 1,300 notable and emerging artists in over 200 parks. For more information about the program visit www.nyc.gov/parks/art.

More information about Thomas Paine Park.