Memory Device

Kristen Mallia


Archival prints
2020



As a child, I grew up taking piano lessons. Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge3 is a mnemonic device designed to trigger musical memory through association. The resulting notes, and their containment in my childhood home, are rich in nostalgia and security.

“Home” is a portion of time encapsulated in a particular place — Groveland, Massachusetts. That time no longer exists, and home is now elsewhere. There is a sense of displacement that occurs with the process of growing up, where memories are distanced, compartmentalized, dislodged. From February to May 2020, I found myself living in a small village in a remote Icelandic fjord during a global pandemic. During this time, I spent considerable hours contemplating the unexpected confusion of acknowledging that my true home was no longer safe, and the privilege of my condition. My temporary home in Seyðisfjörður was keeping me secure. A 2,000 foot mountain pass provided the only means of egress. In this moment, still, security and the comforts of home to many may be viewed as a functioning ventilator, or a sterile hospital bed; it may simply be companionship or physical proximity to loved ones. For others, it’s a location of minimal risk. How can one reconcile the comfort of familiarity with the security of isolation, inspiration in a foreign place? What is a home? Iceland is a place of forgetting. What mnemonic device might help me remember?












Memory Device

Kristen Mallia


Archival prints
2020



As a child, I grew up taking piano lessons. Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge3 is a mnemonic device designed to trigger musical memory through association. The resulting notes, and their containment in my childhood home, are rich in nostalgia and security.

“Home” is a portion of time encapsulated in a particular place — Groveland, Massachusetts. That time no longer exists, and home is now elsewhere. There is a sense of displacement that occurs with the process of growing up, where memories are distanced, compartmentalized, dislodged. From February to May 2020, I found myself living in a small village in a remote Icelandic fjord during a global pandemic. During this time, I spent considerable hours contemplating the unexpected confusion of acknowledging that my true home was no longer safe, and the privilege of my condition. My temporary home in Seyðisfjörður was keeping me secure. A 2,000 foot mountain pass provided the only means of egress. In this moment, still, security and the comforts of home to many may be viewed as a functioning ventilator, or a sterile hospital bed; it may simply be companionship or physical proximity to loved ones. For others, it’s a location of minimal risk. How can one reconcile the comfort of familiarity with the security of isolation, inspiration in a foreign place? What is a home? Iceland is a place of forgetting. What mnemonic device might help me remember?






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