Memory Matrix. Manila
The Memory Matrix is a monument in the making, an experiment in preserving worlds’ heritage. The second iteration of the Memory Matrix took place in Manila, within the London Biennale – Manila Pollination in Manila, Philippines (see the first iteration). The second Matrix was made of over 10,000 small fluorescent Plexiglas elements made by employing new fabrication techniques and collaborations. These elements are designed by project participants and are laser cut with holes outlining vanished heritage from different part of the world, such as Syria, Egypt, USA, Philippines, and beyond. The larger Matrix of pixels reveals an image of the jeepney — a relic vehicle of the WWII that US army left behind and that local inhabitants transformed into a limousine-like colorful trucks called “jeepny.” Over time, these vehicles became a locally specific means of public transportation, but the young generation of the county has no memory of this history (majority of Manilas population is below 25). Today, the development of the new bus system in Manila might bring an end to jeepneys, and thus represents a threat to this iconic form of living cultural heritage. Imagining a future without jeepneys is evoked through the absence of its image made visible by movement of pixels animated by light and wind.
This solidarity-building and educational enterprise was conceived by Azra Aksamija and is produced with the help of a diverse range of partners within the MIT community and participants from the Maker Faire in Cairo, International Art Academy Palestine, Amman Design Week, Syrian refugees in Jordan, as well as participants and volunteers of the London Biennale – Manila Pollination.
Click here to download project documentation brochure.
Azra Akšamija, Memory Matrix, 2016 (ongoing)
Mixed media: chain-link fencing, fence, 10,000 neon-green acrylic elements.
Concept and Artistic Director: Azra Aksamija.
Project Development and Production Team: Team Leader: Lillian P.H. Kology, Josephine Turalba.
Pixel Designers: Participants in Manila.
Pixel Fabrication Team: Stefan Elsholz, Angeline Claire Jacques, Meng Sun, Ranu Singh, Julia Litman-Cleper, Kristen Wu.
Pixel Hanging Team: Volunteers of the London Biennale – Manila Pollination.
Documentation: Josephine Tularaba.
Project Funders and Supporters: MIT and London Biennale – Manila Pollination.