Memory Matrix. Ramallah
The Memory Matrix is a monument in the making, an experiment in preserving worlds’ heritage. The third iteration of the Memory Matrix took place in Ramallah, within the 3rd Qalandiya International (see the first iteration). The third Matrix was made of over 15,000 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 Memory Matrix is an artistic experiment in preserving cultural memory of places affected by conflict and crisis. The project takes form of a temporary public space installation created through multidisciplinary collaborations and employing new fabrication techniques. The Matrix was made of over 15,000 small fluorescent Plexiglas elements, or pixels. Designed by project participants, these pixles are laser cut with holes outlining vanished heritage across the world — from Syria, Egypt, USA, Jordan, Palestine, to Philippines, and beyond. The overall arrangement of pixels forms an image evoking vanished heritage pertinent to the project site. The Qalandiya International iteration of the Memory Matrix references both Ramallah’s disappeared radio antenna and its mini Eiffel Towers, commenting on the politics of broadcasting, non-territorial connectivity and cultural preservation past the “Law of the Stone.”
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.
Azra Akšamija, Memory Matrix, 2016 (ongoing)
Mixed media: welded steel structure, fishing net, 15,000 neon-green acrylic elements, audio.
Concept and Artistic Director: Azra Aksamija.
Project development/planning team and conceptual contributions: Farah Aldeek, Jawad Al Mahli, Wafa Mari, Khaldoun Bishara, Lillian Kology, Francesca Liuni, Raafat Majzoub, Heidi Pretterhifer, Tina Sherwell, Mamon Shreteh.
Podcast authors and live speakers: Bisan and Hussam Abu Eisheh, Yusef Audeh, Khaldoun Bishara, Benji Boyadgian, Raafat Majzoub, Neil Sanzgiri, Salim Tamari.
Pixel designers and jewelry makers: Abdallah Abu Soud, Abdel Raheem Mohammad, Amani Harhash, Dalia Boukhari, Hadeel Qutna, Lubna Al-Araj, Noor Abu Hash-hash, Tuqa Al Sarraj, Yusor Hamed, Amani Yaqoub, Mai Mari, Wafa Mari.
Pixel fabrication: Stefan Elsholtz, Catherine Anabella Lie, Julia Litman-Cleper, Angeline Claire Jacques, Ranu Singh, Meng Sun, Kristen Wu.
Pixel Hanging Team: Students and staff from the International Art Academy Palestine.
Sponsors and producers: MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, International Art Academy Palestine, RIWAQ, Qalandiya International, Gemzo ICT, TUBAR – Engineering and Construction Technology.
Special thanks to: Al-Istiqlal Park (The Palestinian National Garden Al-Irsal St.)