Memory Palace for the Bureau of Self Recognition (2012)

The first memory palace I created was as a participant in artist Chloë Bass’ project The Bureau of Self Recognition (2011-2013). Bass ran a series of ‘Free Consultations’ which opened her private artistic-research methods to the public. She provided two exercises—one standardised and one customised—and each consultee ‘was allowed to select his or her desired medium’ to record the results of the exercise (Bass, 2012). I chose walking.

Photos by Chloë Bass from the free consultation.Photos by Chloë Bass from the free consultation.
For BOSR, Bass and I developed the following customised exercise:

Start at your home. Walk the same route every day for 30 days. At the end of each walk decide what you want to remember. Transform it into an image, preferably a memorable, vibrant one. Imagine your image somewhere in the landscape.

After you have completed the walks invite someone over for tea. Take them on your walk and show them your memory palace. Help them to imagine your visions and share in your stories.

At the end of your walk decide what you want to remember. Transform it into an image and place in the landscape.

The resulting memory palace was located in Astoria, Queens and consisted of over 40 memory images.