Amy Stacey Curtis' 9th solo-biennial exhibit of interactive installation, MEMORY (September 17-October 28, 2016), was 9 participatory works installed throughout 30,000 s.f. of Lewiston, Maine's Bates Mill. Each of MEMORY's installations were accompanied by instructions, the audience challenged to perpetuate and complete Curtis' concepts in specific ways. Photos: Luc Demers, Amy Stacey Curtis
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sort VI, 900 wood cubes, shelves, acrylic, ink, audience, 9.17.16-10.28.16
Each participant asked to randomly choose 1 of 900 white cubes, and to memorize number revealed ("1" through "900"), hidden numbers positioned randomly. Participant placed removed cube in pouch to be attached to body, for hands-free participation during rest of exhibit. Lastly, participants approached second configuration of shelves numbered in order ("1" through "900"), removed cube from pouch and placed cube in spot corresponding to memorized number. Once all cubes sorted (October 28, 4:05pm), installation complete. (each shelf array: 144"x37.5"x1.375"; each cube: 1.5"x1.5"x1.5"; each pouch: 2.25"x2.25"x2.25")
visage II, 99 people, 99 video clips, zip drive, monitor, wood, drywall, acrylic, audience, 2016
Over course of a year, Curtis took video of 99 people in her life including herself. She asked each to count from 1 to 100 at same pace. She gently squeezed each participant's ankle 100+ times to convey the pace, then merged/super-imposed all 99 video clips to start at same moment, all saying "one" simultaneously. (video: 2 minutes 44 seconds; monitor: 48" diagonal)
labyrinth VIII, 99 matboard cards, duct tape, audience, 9.17.16-10.28.16
Each participant randomly choose card(s), each with a different path (33 simple, 33 moderate, 33 difficult). To best of his or her ability, participant memorized path on card, stepped inside labyrinth at point relating to start of respective path, and slowly walked path to end. (labyrinth: 240"x240"; each card: 6"x6")
Click here to view PDF of 99 cards.
shift II, 9 tape recorders, 9 cassette tapes, 9 pedestals, audience, 9.17.16-10.28.16
Repeated from her 4th solo biennial SOUND (2006), at start of MEMORY, Curtis recorded upon each recorder a different 9-word sentence (each sentence found in a different book about memory). Each participant asked to choose a recorder, listen to recorded sentence once, and to replace/re-record sentence, repeating sentence to his or her best ability. (each recorder: 2"x6"x10"; each pedestal: 48"x12"x12")
undoing II, 9 erasers, graphite, pedestal, acrylic, audience, 9.17.16-10.28.16
Curtis stenciled 4,410 letters on 54' pedestal, a 9x490 array representing 49 traumatic memories, each with 90 letters. The letters making up each memory were randomized. Using 1 of 9 erasers provided, each participant asked to erase up to 9 letters: "Please erase each letter completely and return eraser. If all letters erased, please put efforts into erasing more thoroughly. Once memories undone, or at 5pm, October 28 (whichever comes first), installation complete."
Participants asked not to move eraser matter; Curtis collected matter periodically during exhibit. After final erasure, Curtis completed final sweep 4:38pm-5pm, October 28. (pedestal: 648"x24"x18"; each eraser at start of exhibit: 2.5"x.875"x.46875"; each eraser at end of exhibit: ~.75"x.75"x.4"; 1 of 9 erasers was taken during first day of exhibit; sweeper with brush: 6.75"x6.75"x1"; container: 4"x4"x3.5")
impression, clay, pedestal, acrylic, audience, 9.17.16-10.28.16
Participants asked to change what started as a 32' continuous slab of clay (without removing clay from pedestal)--to make up to 9 simple impressions using only their hands. (pedestal: 384"x24"x18"; clay at start of exhibit: 382"x1"x14")
flux VI, 9 steel balls (each 4 pounds), 2 pedestals, acrylic, audience, 9.17.16-10.28.16
Exploring body memory and the weight memory can have, participants asked to choose and cradle single ball from 1 of 2 pedestals, to carry ball quietly to opposite pedestal ("using both hands if possible" and "at slow to moderate pace"). "If you cannot carry this weight, please gently ring bell, and artist will carry weight for you. She will walk alongside you at your pace. Or, if preferred, please watch entire walk." (each pedestal: 72"x36"x24"; each ball: 3"; distance between pedestals: 180')
memoir, 99 desks and stools, 99 books, 99 pencils, 9 pencil sharpeners, acrylic, audience, 9.17.16-
Curtis' first ongoing interactive installation, participants asked to think of single personal memory occurring at any point from birth to present year, to determine year memory took place, or to choose year within their lifespan, and think of memory within chosen year. Participants asked to write memory within corresponding year's book on single, first available, right-hand page--to write anonymously, and without referring to month nor date.
Participant invited to write up to 9 memories, each in different book (different year). The 99 books at MEMORY spanned 99 years, from 1918 to 2016. When exhibited in 2018, the 99-year span shifts to 1920-2018. A book considered complete once holding 300 memories, or once book falls outside respective 99 years. Once all books hold 29,700 memories (within a 99-year span), or at end of 2069 (year of Curtis' 99th birthday), whichever comes first, installation complete.
Curtis hopes to present every 1-3 years at various venues and scales from 9 desks to 99. (each desk: 22.25"x12.25"x30"; each book: 9"x9"x3")
labyrinth IX, 54 medium-density board squares, acrylic, audience, 9.17.16-10.28.16
Participants asked to choose 1 path of 18 squares, to step into first square and quietly pause to "think/picture/reflect upon earliest memory for as long as you wish." Next: "Quietly pause in second square. Think/picture/reflect upon a next memory for as long as you wish. Quietly pause in third square. Think/picture/reflect upon a next memory for as long as you wish… Progress chronologically through 18 memories, from earliest to most recent. (1"x120"x1,728"; each square: 1"x27"x27")