On the 27th-28th June 2020, David McGovern had an exhibition.
‘The Machine Forgets’ is an experimental sci-fi short film reflecting on the tethers of remembering. The video and photo work encourages us to leave behind unwanted memories, and try to live more presently and freely. The narrator recounts his daily ritual of forced forgetting, a self-imposed practice of banishing memories. He offers the viewer the chance to experience a digital version of his forgetting technique. He warns you that this will erase your memory.
memory is complicated.
it contains our abilities, our experiences, our achievements and in many ways, ourselves. we remember simple moments in life, and extraordinary times. however we also keep our fears, prejudices, traumas and doubts in our memory. we tell ourselves things are good or bad based on what’s happened before. what if we just focus on how we are in the present moment, and not let the past dictate our enjoyment of life?
the machine forgets imagines a device and technique that could selectively erase parts of our memory. it poses questions around the reliability of recall, and invites us to let go of the things that aren’t useful to us anymore.
at the end of the exhibition please take some time to reflect on what you would like to place into the forgetting machine. ask yourself what is worth forgetting? what memory have you lived and replayed more than you need, and now needs releasing?