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Britt Gates-Kayyem

Memory As Personality: 

A Psychological and Artistic Approach to Understanding the Self

Just as child art is a reflection of the child’s attempt to visualize and organize his perceptual world and his space within it, our memories serve as the foundation of our sense of self. My thesis addresses how memory is a formative process in the development of personality. I look at memory as the foundation for the construction of personality, personal history, and sense of self as it grounds us in our own lives and in our relationships to others. Regardless of whether the memories we have are implanted, false, or have been manipulated, they are a part of who we are. I believe it is in these very mistakes, the cracks and ambiguity of our memory that we find our true selves. The sense of self is formed not only in the recollection and manipulation of memories, but also in the creation and substantiation of them. My visual component seeks to materialize my own memories in an attempt to elicit a personal memory experience for the viewer. Through light projection, video, and sculpture, I aim to depict the process of recalling memories—visual, tactile and auditory. Using two elevated windowsills in the Fox Gallery, I play with scale and perspective, forcing the viewer to climb up to eye-level to the windowsills as if they are the size of child. And by creating an enclosed psychophysiological space, I aspire to separate the viewer from outside stimuli and to provide an opportunity for the viewer to return to his or her childhood when most formative memories are made. 

Sector C: Art Practice and Technology


Advisors: Perky Edgerton (FNAR) | Ian Verstegen (VLST)