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Memory Eternal|
(Вічная Пам'ять)

A lily pond in the dark and the words memory eternal over top with the names of the members of the Decameron Collective.


Named after the Ukrainian Orthodox prayer for the dead, the Canadian feminist Decameron Collective’s Memory Eternal (Вічная Пам'ять) is a single user a Virtual Reality work designed for Quest 2 that features seventeen distinct storytelling works which include 360 video, interactive and spatialized sound, AI generated images and video, film, as well as text. Set in a surreal and watery landscape, the works investigate our shared experiences of grief and loss at personal, societal, and planetary scales. The design of the world and the works in it center around a question: In the wake of crises, what do and should we remember, and how? Interactants’ journey through the world takes them through experiences of mourning, sitting with, and awakening to new futures. 

DH awards 2023

Creative DH

From grief to joy

photographs of birds and yellow flowers by Kari Maaren
two screens - one has an image of water and the other a poem
large blue tearshaped droplets and a still image from a film
photgraphs and drawings hanging in the air
a dome made of green vines

Memory Eternal was a creative DH experiment in finding interactive forms for memory work rooted in an epistemology of hope, and develops a collaborative vision of how we can move through grieving to collectivity and growth.

Three creative DH methods drive our work, outlined in Jentery Sayers’ Making Things and Drawing Boundaries: Experiments in the Digital Humanities (U Minnesota P, 2017): making spaces and interfaces, making as ethics, and making as inquiry.  

How can digital worlds create spaces of encounter that bring vastly diverse, heterogenous yet overlapping experiences together? How can haptic and immersive interactive forms engage the thickness of lived histories?

The generation of the world and works in it is the product of a speculative feminist praxis asking what important relationships to the past and what forms of futurity can be attained through digital storytelling and research co-creation. The work results from years long conversations, inquiry, and artistic experimentation between the members of the Decameron Collective anchored in an ethics of care. While the themes of Memory Eternal are serious and intense, we are submitting the work under the category of "fun." This is because of the enlivening character of the making of the work. Memory Eternal is above all a record of the joy of working and thinking and building imaginative worlds together.

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