FOREST KELLEY

THEIR MEMORIES ALSO MINE

This collaborative project was initiated by German conceptual artist and curator Michael Kress under the auspices of the artist collective Hyper Cultural Passengers. The collaboration brings me together with author Duygu Ağal (Berlin, DE), artist/musician James Enos (GA), and musician Derya Yildirim (Berlin, DE). The work intertwines our experiences and cultural influences in an act of sharing and effective melding of histoires.

I collect instrumentation, field recordings, and interviews from my collaborators which are subsequently transformed in an analog method akin to Alvin Lucier’s “I am Sitting in a Room” by recording and re-recording sounds in spaces significant to the experiences of my collaborators and myself, from the home of bluegrass legend Bill Monroe, to the factory where my mother worked while raising me, to ice fields at the South Pole. The installation merges the resonant tones of these sonically and geographically disparate environments.

The audio and visuals are generative and never precisely repeat. I wrote more than 15,000 lines of code which coordinated the play of hundreds of audio files. The video comprises water filmed by my collaborators and me, from Lexington, Kentucky to Hamburg, Germany. A second projection mounted directly above reveals fragments of light that undulate via the water they are projected through. Each square of light correlates to a sound in the archive.

The assemblage of ephemera includes a mix of highly personal and found objects which raises questions about how and why we hold memories in particular objects, and how and when we choose to see, acknowledge, or value the things we are proximate to. The installations are changed and added to throughout the course of an exhibition, making it an active and alive space where recently claimed objects are welcomed into their new histories.

Forest Kelley
Their Memories Also Mine, 2021 Installation: personal and found objects, projections, generative audio, bespoke audiovisual software
Forest Kelley
Forest Kelley
Forest Kelley
Forest Kelley
Forest Kelley


This project includes creative and technical contributions from a number of people. As an acknowledgment of this often invisible labor, I would like to thank Jedd Greenhalgh (who transcribed the notes from thousands of recordings), DJ Jennings (who made recordings at the South Pole), Torsten Bruch, Clay Christmas, Christian Divol, Seth Landman, Ariannah Lego, Will Major, Raub Roy, Salma Sbou, Paula Starkey, Dima Strakovsky, Lynn Sweet, and Taha.

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