Memory Matrix: Erasing the Past

Anderson Abigail

The Memory Matrix is growing into a beautiful project that will bring together people through their mutual appreciation of lost cultural heritage.  This week’s discussion about the Memory Matrix moving forward raised many important points.

One major topic that we discussed is the sale of the “necklaces” made out of the centers of the tiles.  I agree that it’s going to be hard to market them as necklaces, as most people don’t wear neon jewelry, but perhaps they would sell as keychains.  I also think that it is a good idea to only take donations, with a “suggested donation” of $5.  In this case, I believe that people will support the cause more for its own sake than for the keychain that they get out of it.  This neon trinket is, however, a good way for people to tie their purchase to its significance and be reminded of the entire concept of the Memory Matrix.

I agree with the direction in which we’re going with regards to numbering the tiles.  It seems simplest to number each tile and then have them correspond with blurbs on the website.  The concept of using QR codes never seemed effective to me, but that may be just a personal preference: I think I’ve only ever scanned a QR code once, since I never know beforehand whether it’ll be worth my time.  It would also still be good to have some sort of a matrix on the website, so viewers can find tiles that intrigued them, even without remembering their numbers. 


Here is the shortened version of the description of my tile for the website:

“During the 2008 summer Olympics, the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing, China, became a world-renowned symbol of extravagance and moving forward.  But in the years preceding the month-long ceremonies, many memories were lost.

Hundreds of thousands of families were evicted from their homes to make way for the Olympic stadiums.  Historic neighborhoods called hutongs were destroyed.  China’s leaders successfully converted centuries-old neighborhoods into a state-of-the art complex that would showcase China’s power on the world stage without revealing its beautiful, though perhaps antiquated, cultural heritage. 

Today, the stadium stands as a memorial to the unifier that is the world Olympics; but at the same time, it is filled with many ghosts: the ghosts of the athletes whose lifelong dreams were fulfilled or crushed in that space, as well as of the thousands of families who lost a vital piece of their past when they were forced to leave.  As plans for the 2022 Beijing winter Olympics develop, new memories will be created and the absence of old ones will be felt even more.”