How to remember her

Wayward son (How to remember her). May 2023.

A simple action to engage in remembrance.

Combing through the nauseating library of files that I maintain is something I do with extreme frequency (albeit usually in complete privacy). To reorient this mundane, private ritual into a performed action was interesting to me. Rules were established to organize the action and to position it as a public aesthetic gesture.

The rules which organized this action were goal-oriented, and are as follows:

  1. The action will produce a contact sheet of images
  2. The contact sheet will contain 23 images
  3. The images will be arranged as 6 rows in 4 columns
  4. The action will be completed with her in mind
  5. The action will be recorded

With these rules set, the performance began on May 12th and concluded on May 13th when the produced contact sheet was picked up from FedEx. 

In the video documentation made available 0n Youtube, Dreamscape by 009 Sound System is employed at the offset of the performance. In the mid to late 2000’s, during the early days of corporatization at Youtube, copyrighted music in user-uploaded videos became a target for censorship. Sometime around 2007, Youtube implemented AudioSwap in an effort to mitigate unlicensed usage of copyrighted audio tracks in user uploads. With AudioSwap, any videos featuring copyrighted music would have their original audio tracks muted while the uploader would be given the option to swap out for the original track for a variety of songs on Youtube’s official list of music licensed under Creative Commons. As a result of AudioSwap’s alphabetical listing of available songs, 009 Sound System was the very first artist who appeared as an option for users to take advantage of on this prescribed list. Due to this, there was a noticeable explosion in Youtube content which utilized their track Dreamscape as the backing audio to a wide, disparate variety of videos.

I remember a period in my childhood where virtually every time I pulled up a videogame walkthrough or compilation on Youtube I would be greeted by those buttery-smooth reversed tones which quickly dumped me into the driving trance-bass of Dreamscape. The track is iconic. As soon as the bass hits, all dopamine receptors are piqued. The soaring synthesizer highs and keyboard solos cannot be understated. The eb and flow of the song sort of burned itself into the acoustic landscape of an obsolete, bygone era of early video sharing online by virtue of its accesibility through AudioSwap. Occasionally, videos of all walks of life which originally had copyrighted music of an entirely different mood or ambiance (such as a classical tune composed by Betthoven or a soft ballad by Phil Collins) would be replaced with Dreamscape automatically by Youtube’s AudioSwap program – significantly altering the context and overall effect of the uploaded content in question.  Frequently, odd marriages were formed between unrelated video content and the dramatic bass-driven thumping of Dreamscape. The final video + audio couplings existed on Youtube as surreal, collaborative performances between draconian copyright  systems and the video’s original uploader.

For this constructed documentation video, I invoke Dreamscape as an intentional gesture to situate my meditative, solemn act of remembrance in the larger mental history I personally have with regards to engaging in online forms of community.