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Live web event open to all wishing to commemorate 9-11


August 26, 2002

TEMPE, Ariz. – Web users the world over will be able to participate in Memoria/Memoire, a live memorial event on Sept. 11, streamed from the Herberger College’s Institute for Studies in the Arts (ISA) at Arizona State University, in conjunction with University of Arizona.

The Sept. 11 event is open to anyone with Internet access and the site will remain up following the anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Information gathered at the site will be archived and become the raw material for a project that uses Artificial Intelligence capabilities to recall the Sept. 11 attacks on America.

The opportunity to watch streamed performances and participate in a live video chat is the result of efforts by the ISA’s Patricia Clark and University of Arizona professor of art, Carol Flax, in collaboration with UA’s Treistman Fine Arts Center for New Media. More than a dozen collaborators at UA and ASU, and more at several universities across the country, will make this event possible.

Memoria/Memoire is the brainchild of Flax, who has a long affiliation with the ISA as a resident artist. It has several components, which begin with a live web event to memorialize who and what has been lost over the past year.

The event will run from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Arizona time and include performances streamed live from several universities across the country, including ASU and UA. Other participants include the State University of New York at Buffalo and University of Kansas.
Among the performances will be 10-minute versions of two performance pieces created and presented during the past year by ASU artists. Heel by Jeff McMahon and Infinite Justice by Lance Gharavi were both developed in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The live web event also will include opportunities for web users to chat using iVisit, a free, downloadable video conferencing software, or to contribute information to a database planned for the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. Participants will be able to submit their own recollections, experiences or feelings to the database by uploading video and audio files, or by submitting text documents.

All submissions will be catalogued in the database and become available on the website via keyword search on or about Oct. 1. This second phase of Memoria/Memoire will remain available on the web for at least a year. The information contained in this archive will then become part of the project’s third phase, which is primarily about how we gain, lose and share memory.

The third phase of Memoria/Memoire will be a physical, interactive and reactive installation that will open at UA on Sept. 11, 2003. It will compare the functions of human memory with the functions of Artificial Intelligence, or AI memory. Visitors who enter the space will be able to call up stories, images and video, or watch as the AI aspect of the installation does the same.

The Artificial Intelligence capabilities will be developed by the project team during the coming year. Word searches will be a component, but Patricia Clark says that a key goal is to discover whether searches for picture components are feasible – a very new aspect of the computer science research field. If they are, this will bring a whole new dimension to the ability of the Artificial Intelligence component to connect the “memories” that thousands of visitors have uploaded to the website.

Information about the live web event is available at http://www.arts.arizona.edu/memoria/ and http://isa.asu.edu/memoria. For more information on Memoria/Memoire, members of the public should call the ISA at (480) 965-9438.

Editor’s Note: Memoria/Memoire is a collaborative project by Carol Flax, media artist and professor of art at the University of Arizona, Patricia Clark, media artist and manager of the Digital Imaging Lab at the Institute for Studies in the Arts, Kip Haaheim, composer and professor of music at the University of Kansas, and Jerzy Rozenblit, PhD., professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Arizona.

Consultants for this project include John D. Mitchell, composer with the ASU Dance Department and the Institute for Studies in the Arts; Gene Cooper, media artist with the Institute for Studies in the Arts; Hari Sundarum, new faculty appointee of the Institute for Studies in the Arts and Computer Science, Trebor Scholz, Professor or Art, State University of New York at Buffalo; Cynthia Barlow, Network Services for the College of Fine Arts, University of Arizona; Joe Beals, Technical Services Manager at the Treistman Center, UA; and Mike Holcomb, Assistant Dean for Digital Art, UA. 

Media Contact:
Jennifer Pringle
480-965-8795
jennifer.pringle@asu.edu