This week we took part in my first artistic sound recording, each of us saying a few lines on the theme of memory to kickstart the film and research side of the project. The lines I chose were "Memory is like an echo from the past, only blurry and faded round the edges." The human memory is a fascinating thing- capable of logging huge amounts of infomation. However, in practical terms the brain has to discard vast amounts of information in order to get through the day to day without being overwhelmed. I'm fascinated by the fluidity of memory, how people make stories for themselves that evolve and flux over time.
What is less widely known is the capacity for the mind to subconsciously completely fabricate memories.This means that a person can be completely unaware that a memory which they recall in minute detail can be entirely false. There are many interesting articles and blogs that give examples on this- I like these two.
How to Instill False Memories
The Illusions of Memory
These false memories exist as tiny bubbles of an alternate reality, they are mini narratives that we tell ourselves to fill in the gaps of what we cant recall. It shows a frailty of the human mind, that it is so easily contaminated by outside influences. Yet I also have to marvel at the dexterity of the brain that can, when pressed for details inadvertently and subconsciously invent complex scenarios according to a person's expectations.