Writings by Tim Girvin

the notion of memory is something that has struck me hard over the last couple of days. I went to a performance the other night called mnemonic. By Theatre Complicite, it was a marvelous "weaving" of the tapestry of the electricity that we understand as memory. You'll recall (no pun intended) my discussions about the 'Palace of Memory" that Matteo Ricci "discovered" as a translation of the early, first millenial treatment in China of building a actual imagined "gallery" or architectural mindspace for the storing of pertinent collated arrays of thoughts and impressions (Dr Lecter explored this in his "escapes" for Hannibal). The performance plays to these also. It opened with a "introductory" piece which was almost handled as a "no cameras, no smoking, and no cell phones" performance explanation, it then insinuated itself into other "recollections" or "reminders", that lead by a sinuous series of threads into the complex underpinings of the story itself. Of love, love lost, being lost, between the protagonist, his girlfriend, and curiously, the lonely discovery of the "Ice Man", the team of scientists who attempted to excavate the meaning of his life, his death, and who you might recall is the 5,200 year old man, lost-frozen in the ice in the Alps between Italy and Switzerland. The performance, however, was an expert concatenation of weavings, underlaid with great stage tactics, light craft, music and set evolutions. It was, to say the least quite compelling
and fascinating.

My gesture to you here is that this made me realize that there is more to the idea of memory than I have allued to or gathered in the instance of the SMPS presentation that you have culled. I am wondering, therefore, if you could add some words to the exploration of mind, mental, memory. Both from Brian's perspective, in the sequencing of the words, but also as an advisement to Theresa (just so she knows). In the sequence we get to mind, and there is a leap to memory. I wonder, and this is the reaching out to you, to consider what etymological links could be added. I also believe that we have considered Muse, in this array, somehow. (I don't have the copy before me). In any sequence, what I am asking for you to consider is to "walk around" this puzzle, to add to the presentation. Reflections?

reminder (remainder, recall, recollection?)
mnemonic (memorandum)
mindless (mind you?)

Some of these, of course, are already in the mix, but I am curious about expanding this arena. As you know, mind, as a word is intimately linked to memory, in terms of the actual "words" that are connected to eachother. But more importantly, and conceptually, mind and memory are conjoined in the attributes of recollection, moment to moment. That is, your active thinking is, at once, attached to memory. You add to your memory, your subtract from your memory-you withdraw and configure your thinking in conjunction with your memory simultaneously.

Tim Girvin
(Originally sent: Thursday, September 12, 2002)

< Back