Another Past in the Making

From the Badlands to the Belly of the Beast.

It is the 21st of August 2015. Location: The Barbican Centre, London EC2 – in the Belly of the Beast. And: Fish Island Labs, London E3 – the Badlands of Hackney Wick. It is early evening and the latest Mnemonic City exhibition opens simultaneously in both venues.

Spatial Creativity Incarnates

The project is now in its 6th edition, and as with previous incarnations, it is the result of an artistic exploration and investigation of a particular city or area, by way of individual artists’ creative works. This time the area in question was defined, in principle, by connecting the two exhibition locations: spatially, artistically, economically, socially, politically or indeed through any other creative concept.

Collective versus Personal

Exploring the area collectively as well as individually meant that the different artworks are the result of a shared experience, while also presenting a unique personal perspective and interpretation of this experience. In addition, the involvement of Something Human resulted in a number of performances and public interventions taking place, most notably a mock funeral procession from Hackney Wick to the Barbican Centre. Together, the artworks and performances present an entity – connected and fragmented alike –  in the form of a ‘City of Memories‘.

Mnemonic Rewind

But we need to go back in time for a moment here…to a moment of the past: it is now the 10th of March 2015. Mnemonic City is launching an experiment across a number of social media platforms, with the intention to create a network of virtual memories around the hashtag #MnemonicCity. Starting at precisely 00:00:00hrs – the zero hour of this experiment – a trail of images and texts is released, via the already existing website and facebook page, as well as dedicated Mnemonic City Twitter and Instagram accounts, which have been specifically set up for this experiment.

Game of Memories

The aim of the first phase is to research a possible methodology, while generating a basic audience of followers. In the subsequent phase – starting at the beginning of April – the rules of the experiment will be defined. The ultimate aim is to encourage audience participation in a playful creation of a virtual ‘City of Memories‘, as the experiment intensifies towards the date of the exhibition opening.


Mnemonic City is an arts project which aims to creatively re-frame experiences of geography and memory. The project has to date been staged in various locations in London, Madrid and Florence. Mnemonic City No 6 will take place from the 21st to 23rd of August 2015 at the Barbican Art Centre and at Fish Island Labs. Partners in this project are Lab Film Projects, Something Human and Open Vizor. In September 2015, Mnemonic City will then travel to Lisbon, Portugal, to host a series of Mnemonic Interventions and a big exhibition at the end of that month.

Mnemonic City is a project managed by Magma Collective.

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