GSAPP Spring 2014: Perpetual Memory Bank
The archive is a form of banking, a system of recording and sorting, a method of deposit and retrieval, and a place of occasional alchemic transformation.
Both memory and finance slip between material and immaterial significance—physical, worldly substances and ephemeral, shifting impressions of value. A Perpetual Memory Bank is a public repository, reflecting and projecting personal and civic consequence. It is an inconstant, non-denominational space of temporary storage, exchange and collective commemoration, where investments deal with traces and legacy.
Embedded in the public flux of the metropolis, projects navigate and re-shape the present with an awareness of remembered pasts and a persistent drive for anticipated futures. Grounded in both conceptual and urban arguments, the proposals are tangible, spatial, and material places, whose experience, like human memory, is fragmentary, incomplete and continually being re-written. The holdings of these banks act as a barometer, measuring and celebrating urban life, projecting forward and glancing backward at the same time.