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A Weary Man's Utopia (2014)

A Weary Man's Utopia (2014) 
Mental time-travel machine, light box, Amprobe recorder, Braille, lightbox, oxygen tanks, binoculars, leather helmet, motion sensor, casters, blind embossment, vinyl turntable. Appropriated text from "Einstein's Dream" (1992) by Alan Lightman, and audio from "The Wanderer" (1961) by Dion 

The typical definition of mental time travel involves an “episodic memory” of the past is more consideration of the future and an understanding of how these related to the self. Thus, mental time travel involves subjective reconstruction of past or future events. In the case of humans, researchers can clearly see and demonstrate the presence of episodic memory and future planning.A Weary Man’s Utopia (2014) presents a situation that toggles between the physical space and the mental space of fictional time travel. Within the space is a mental time travel machine, a blind embossment paper with text “the future”. The title “A Weary Man’s Utopia” was appropriated from Jorge Luis Borges’ short story, which corresponds with all of my projects, as texts and titles that are often repeated, serving as a continuous association with a larger narrative. The phenomenological experience of remembering is different from merely knowing the fact.The audio installation "The Wanderer" (1961) by Dion serves as the soundtrack of this filmic narrative, the vinyl record spinning endlessly on the turntable and can only be heard if viewers pick up the binocular on time-travel machine. The interactive audio component provides viewers options of the level of engagement, one can only hear it by choosing to interact with the machine. In A Weary Man’s Utopia , the future present both past and present, as the time in the installation space become an endless loop. The text and the audio suggests a filmic narrative of a constructed and flexible time.  

Clayton, Nicola S., et, al., Prometheus to Proust: The case for behavioral criteria for ‘mental time travel’. Trends in Cognitive Sciences (2003), 7, 436–437
Endel, Tulving, “Memory and Consciousness”, Candian Psychology (1985), 26:1, 2

Cole Lu
December 2014