Wednesday, 11 March 2015

"Ghosts and The Imaginary Museum": lecture at Institute of Education

On the 6th November 2014, I was invited to host a lecture at Institute of Education London (IOE). It was a great honour to be invited back by a renouned  published author and one of my favorite professors of all time, Pam Meecham on her module on heritage study.

Drawing from my own personal experience of growing up in Thailand, my presentation revolves around the theme of ghosts and the imaginary museum. I first showed a clip from "Uncle Boonmee recall his past lives".
The film is a part of ‘Primitive’ anthology by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, a project which investigates the memory of a specific place in the northeast of Thailand, village of Nabua where the film was shot. "Beginning with the onset of a famous gun battle between farmer communists and the totalitarian government on August 7, 1965, Nabua was occupied by the Thai Army from the 60s into the 80s to suppress communist agitators. Along with the director remark of how "viewers are ghosts, watching ghosts", the movie was a great example of how technology (such as moving image) could be use to negociate and interwine our intagible heritage with the profound quality of being human, such as our belief, 'dreams' and 'souls'

Furthurmore the class discussed a few reference on surrealist cinema, where technology are used to interpretate dreams. We also looked at contemporary artists auch as recent Tuner prize winner Mark Lecky, on how the museum space is used as platform for to look at our unconcious mind during the process of visual intake. These were then linked to the theory of "Imaginary Museum" by the critical theorist and previous French minister of culture, Andre Malraux

In my previous project, I refferenced Malraux notion of museum as a mental splace where we store and compare images within our memory imaginarium (also echoed in Gaynor Kavanagh's book the "Dream Spaces"). We discussed my projects including Imagining Baby Patricia Milsom and Sri Jareon Shipyard mobile app, where I created an app to document local memory based on a shipyard in Ayuthaya Province, Thailand
Overall, with Unesco recent interest in digital approach within heritage sector, it is perhaps worthwhile to consider digital platform, not only as better access compared to analog, but also as fundamental part of our lives as human.

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