Memory Association Machine

Memory Association Machine

Benjamin David Robert Bogart (Simon Fraser University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-352-4.ch013
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“Memory Association Machine” (also known as “Self-Other Organizing Structure #1”) is the first prototype in a series of site-specific responsive installations inspired by cognitive processes. The artist provides a mechanism that allows the structure of the artwork to change in response to continuous stimulus from its context. Context is defined as those parameters of the environment that are perceivable by the system and make its place in space and time unique. “Memory Association Machine” relates itself to its context using three primary processes: perception, the integration of sensor data into a field of experience, and the free-association through that field. “Memory Association Machine” perceives through a video camera, integrates using a Kohonen Self-Organizing Map, and free-associates through an implementation of Liane M. Gabora’s model of memory and creativity.
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This text describes and frames the first prototype in a body of work that aims to create artworks that find their own relationship to their context. These artifacts are embodied, meaning that they are manifested in a physical1 form and are effected by, and effect, the world around them. The artifacts could be considered creative machines in that they transform material from their context into an original representation. The machine creates this representation through a mechanism provided by the artist. My research aims to use artistic enquiry to develop a meta-practise that binds the practises of responsive electronic media art, site-specific art, and artificial intelligence. This meta-practise includes theory from the philosophy of embodiment and is developed through the creation of embodied artifacts-as-processes—artifacts composed of computational processes. The material of the artwork is a set of computational processes that are causally connected to the physical world. The mechanism of the artwork is intended to exhibit emergent properties through the negotiation between software and physical context.

The system’s processes are causally connected to the outside world through sensors (inputs) and external properties (outputs). How can an artifact—even a process—find a relationship to its context? Artifacts such as “Memory Association Machine” form an embodied relationship with their context in two ways; firstly, by being embodied so that they can both change and be changed by their context, and secondly, by having their structure altered through the process of embodiment. A more detailed account of the creation of “Memory Association Machine” is available in “Memory Association Machine: An Account of the Realization and Interpretation of an Autonomous Responsive Site-Specific Artwork” (Bogart, 2008). The process of embodiment is the negotiation between the subject and the object—the relationship between seeing and acting.

This text begins by weaving a theory of practise which has been, and is still being, developed. The practise is focused on the fundamental relationship between the artwork (artifact-as-process), the artist (author), and the world in which they are both embodied. A description of “Memory Association Machine” is interjected throughout the framing and followed by a detailed description of the system’s architecture. Future work is presented at the conclusion of the text.

Key Terms in this Chapter

FIFO (First in First Out): A type of buffer or stack where items can be removed in the same order in which they were added.

Connectionism: A thread of AI that is characterized by the development of systems, which are composed of numerous simple units that are massively interconnected and inspired by neurons.

Site-Specific Art: An art-form where the artwork is installed in a particular context and is meant to impact the viewer’s reading of the work.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): A discipline of computer science that seeks to create systems that can exhibit abilities similar to those of human beings (e.g. problem solving).

Self-Organizing Map (SOM): Also known as a Kohonen Network: an unsupervised artificial neural network designed to be an arbitrary pattern classifier.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Gabriele Meiselwitz
James Braman, Giovanni Vincenti, Goran Trajkovski
James Braman, Giovanni Vincenti, Goran Trajkovski
Chapter 1
Adérito Fernandes Marcos, Pedro Branco, João Álvaro Carvalho
Art objects might be described as symbolic objects that aim at stimulating emotions. They reach us through our senses (visual, auditory, tactile, or... Sample PDF
The Computer Medium in Digital Art's Creative Process
Chapter 2
Salah Uddin Ahmed, Letizia Jaccheri, Guttorm Sindre, Anna Trifonova
The interaction between art and technology, especially computing technology, is an increasing trend in the recent years. The context of this... Sample PDF
Conceptual Framework for the Intersection of Software and Art
Chapter 3
Joseph William Pruitt
The purpose of this chapter is to define the roles of engineering and design within the product development cycle looking at both the scientific and... Sample PDF
The Design of Engineering
Chapter 4
Jim Bizzocchi, Belgacem Ben Youssef
The chapter describes the synergistic integration of distinct research and creation agendas, each firmly grounded in its own set of practices and... Sample PDF
Ambient Video, Slow-Motion, and Convergent Domains of Practice
Chapter 5
Ethan Ham
Randomness is a slippery term that conveys different meanings in different disciplines. In mathematics, an individual number is random when there is... Sample PDF
Randomness, Chance, & Art
Chapter 6
Holography: Re-Defined  (pages 103-112)
Martin Richardson, Paul Scattergood
When writing this chapter it became apparent that we were not only exponents of digital holography, but also the critics. This is a problem when it... Sample PDF
Holography: Re-Defined
Chapter 7
Lorenzo Picinali
What is the real potential of computer science when applied to music? It is possible to synthesize a “real” guitar using physical modelling... Sample PDF
3D Sound Simulation over Headphones
Chapter 8
Raphael DiLuzio
This is a guide for working with a visual art form using a digital time-based medium. This chapter will provide an overview of the necessary... Sample PDF
Broken Cinema: The Eye and Hand in a Time-Based Art
Chapter 9
Ambivalent Interplay  (pages 146-161)
Heejoo Kim
The human vision, the most ubiquitous receptor of the human senses, has been the prevailing sensory organ for a noticeable manifestation of visual... Sample PDF
Ambivalent Interplay
Chapter 10
Yueh Hsiu Giffen Cheng
The development of net art originates from the rising of net media generally. During the past two decades, Net art has overthrown the standards of... Sample PDF
The Aesthetics of Net dot Art
Chapter 11
Nicola Quinn, Annette Aboulafia
People have used tools for artistic expression for millennia. Relatively recent is the use of digital technology to afford the creation of art.... Sample PDF
A Graphics Tablet as a Fine Art Tool
Chapter 12
Greg J. Smith
This text seeks to contextualize the history of and discourse surrounding information visualization. It positions visualization in relation to... Sample PDF
Information Visualization and Interface Culture
Chapter 13
Benjamin David Robert Bogart
“Memory Association Machine” (also known as “Self-Other Organizing Structure #1”) is the first prototype in a series of site-specific responsive... Sample PDF
Memory Association Machine
Chapter 14
Stefano De Luca, Eugenia Benelli, Francesco Altarocca, Dario Dussoni
Designing good and sound architectural projects is a hard job. Generally these kinds of projects involve many stakeholders, everyone with his/her... Sample PDF
EVO-PARK: Designing Better Architecture Projects Using Participated and Interactive Genetic Algorithms
Chapter 15
Sergiy Rakov, Viktor Gorokh, Kirill Osenkov
The chapter discusses the possibilities modern IT opens for Mathematics and its applications to real life, in particular to Art – by an example of... Sample PDF
Mathematics, Computer Mathematical Systems, Creativity, Art
Chapter 16
Jim Barta, Ron Eglash
Students who may typically view mathematics as a sterile and disjointed subject are learning new skills and concepts using a suite of virtual design... Sample PDF
Teaching Artful Expressions of Mathematical Beauty: Virtually Creating Native American Beadwork and Rug Weaving
Chapter 17
Mia Kalish
One visualization in Diné philosophy is four small dots arranged in a circular sequence at 90°, 0°, 270°, and 180°. Each position is associated with... Sample PDF
Visual Analytics and Conceptual Blending Theory
Chapter 18
Lindsay Grace
Enculturation is the act of passing cultural ideologies from one person to the other. It is what breeds innovation instead of new creation. It is... Sample PDF
The Challenge of Enculturation on Art
Chapter 19
Lindsay Grace
Software is philosophical. Software is designed by people who have been influenced by a specific understanding of the way objects, people and... Sample PDF
The Philosophies of Software
Chapter 20
Technological Social-ism  (pages 343-374)
Judson Wright
Culture is a byproduct of our brains. Moreover, we’ll look at ways culture also employs ritual (from shamanistic practices to grocery shopping) to... Sample PDF
Technological Social-ism
Chapter 21
Stephen A. Schrum
As creative people inhabit virtual worlds, they bring their ideas for art and performance with them into these brave new worlds. While at first... Sample PDF
Theatre in Second Life® Holds the VR Mirror up to Nature
Chapter 22
Machinima in Second Life  (pages 396-416)
Stephany Filimon
This chapter provides a brief history of machinima, films created by computer users within virtual worlds, and focuses on machinima produced within... Sample PDF
Machinima in Second Life
Chapter 23
Andrew Jinman
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) are becoming an increasingly popular recreational activity for social engagement.... Sample PDF
Player Motivation and Understanding Game Dynamics
About the Contributors