Memory Loops

Talk with Stefan Römer and subsequent discussion
January 13th, 2012

Memorials are mostly commissioned works of art that are bound to a pre-definded space and function as symbolic gestures. The task to memorize or to come to terms with the past is delegated to the artist. Thus, an artistic engagement with memorials has to take into account questions of representation and historiography, but also the relation to the commissioner, the materiality and the locality.

The audio project »Memory Loops« by Michaela Melián, created for a competition set out by the city of Munich in 2008, consists of several hundred sound tracks with police reports and instructions, but in the first instance with memories of NS victims and contemporary witnesses, that form an invisible memorial that is closely conneted to the topography of the city. The website www.memoryloops.netforms the central element of the artwork on which all audio tracks can be found on a map drawn by the artist. The collages of voice(s) and music are thematically tied to places in the former »Capital of the Movement« and have been recorded by contemporaries, so as to make the past present and not to stick to voices of contemporary witnesses. The sound files are available online on, to be combined to an individual memory loop and city guide.

In a talk between Michaela Melián and Stefan Römer about »Memory Loops« and a subsequent discussion, the major focus will be on artistic practices that are, like online exhibitions or study groups and conferences initiated by artists, not linked to the production of objects and contribute to new forms of discourse. As one of the fundamental interests of the project »Conceptual Paradise –– Artistic Practice in the Age of the Social Web« the internet is concidered as an extended form of exhibition space that serves as an alternative for artistic presentation which is not limited to the physical space.

Michaela Melián: Art and music studies in Munich and London. In the 1980s co-editor of the magazine »Mode und Verzweiflung«. Formation of the band »F.S.K.« (Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle) with Thomas Meinecke. Since 2010 professor for mixed media/acoustics at the College of Visual Arts Hamburg. Numerous solo and group exhibtions, Museum für Moderne Kunst Nürnberg, 2012, Städtische Galerie Nordhorn, 2011, MediaArtLab Moscow, 2011, Kaunas Biennial, Lithuania, 2011, Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2011, ZKM Karlsruhe, 2011, Rathausgalerie Munich, 2010, Contemporary Museum on the Seam Jerusalem, 2010, Lentos Museum Linz, 2010, Ludlow 38, New York, 2009, ACCA Melbourne, Australia, 2009, glasmoog/KHM Cologne, 2009, Ulmer Museum, 2008, Cubitt Gallery, London, 2008, MAK Vienna, 2008. Recent awards: Art Award of the city Munich and Audio Drama of the Year of the German Academy of Performing Arts for »Memory Loops«, 2010.