Remembrance: Coral is an immersive virtual reality animation with a brain sensor addressing the poetics of a mind as it is dying of dementia. The main action of the animation will be layered over the top of a colorfully abstract representation of the participant’s own electroencephalographic input (EEG) as monitored by brain sensors and interpreted by Artificial Intelligence. The audio will be the recitation of a poem that is also generated by a computer, specifically by GPT-2, using a database of existing poems, novels and other writings about memory loss.
The goal of this project is to explore more deeply the nature of dementia, beyond medicalization. It seeks to provide a lens through which the confusion and suffering of our loved ones with dementia can be experienced as something as beautiful as it is excruciating. In preparation for the likelihood of my own early onset dementia, I have developed a poetic understanding of the process which finds an aching beauty in degeneration. The narrative of Remembrance is a rumination on the inevitable chain of family and disease, centering first on my mother in Korea before moving back through our matrilineal heritage – her mother and her grandmother both of whom had dementia as well, and then at last I bring it into the present, to me.