Memory Boxes

In Exhibition News by Alun Kirby

I am extremely pleased to announce that I have been awarded a grant from York Dementia Action Alliance (York DAA), to develop interactive ‘Memory Boxes’ for people living with dementia.
Cyanotype-coated origami boxes / shapes will, in collaboration with digital arts / sound specialist Paul Fothergill, be ‘implanted’ with interactive technology to capture speech and convert it to anonymous text.

Working with local dementia support groups, metamorphogram boxes will be given to people living with dementia.
Over several months, these boxes, acting like an Amazon Alexa or Google Echo, will allow people to record their reality of living with dementia in York. We are particularly interested in aspects relating to social isolation.
By collecting the speech as anonymized text, and pooling words from all participants, we hope to generate data of interest for advocacy and social science research.
At the end of the collection period, the boxes are opened and their visual ‘memories’ revealed. Together with word clouds, these will form art exhibitions (expected August 2018) which offer local outreach opportunities. We hope this approach will help develop empathy and understanding of what it is like to live with dementia in their local community.