Time is a big part of the Mudlark studio. Barnes is all about the future — jetpacks and that — whilst Richard is obsessed with time travel (even running a micro-publishing imprint for it). I’m stuck in time, having spent too much of it reading recollections of events and being an amateur eschatologist.
MemCode, then. MemCode is the formal, launched, face of the project formerly known to us in the studio as ‘Memory Thing’. It came from a lunchtime conversation about not needing to experience something to actually experience it. Sometimes finding out about an event, getting excited about it and buying the ticket and putting it in your diary – sometimes that’s the most exciting part. Or even false memories (implanted, perhaps, by something collective like cliche or advertising) such as “sitting on the bleachers drinking Coke from a glass bottle”.
The idea of the thing is enough, you can imagine the experience.
Memory is a funny, unpredictable, brilliant thing, and so is imagination. MemCode is designed to play around with this. It’s a story-toy, and part of our infrequent series of scalable models, following on from SCVNGR at the V&A and Derby. In essence, MemCode is a sort of short-form publishing project, with a large dollop of fictional context for good measure. You may recognise MemCode as the memory preserving/sales agency from Derby, which was developed in parallel.
The first bit of the story is now live. It’s the corporate website of MemCode Plc. It’s better if you go and read it in MemCode’s own words, but here’s the story in brief:
- MemCode are compiling your digital memories and formatting them for the experience of others.
- Memories are being tested by ‘Readers’, and created by ‘Writers’. You can be a Reader or Writer, or both. Just sign up to the mailing lists on each page.
- The first Memory they have developed is about to be released.
- It will be released by e-mail this month to people on the ‘Alpha Readers Mailing List’
There are so many influences and inspirations behind this project. Some are buried deeply (Krapp’s Last Tape, Assassin’s Creed, Philip K. Dick, Murakami, Dirty Projectors’ version of Damaged), and some have been cropping up even as late as last week (Imaginary Image Blog, My Earliest Memory, Facebook Timeline, ten years of 9/11 propaganda, Thinking In Tumblr, the 20th Anniversary of Nevermind).
MemCode isn’t designed for truth. It’s designed for evocation. So, I’ll stop here.
Soon, MemCode will release their first memory, and we’ll see what people make of it. Much like Derby, we’re not really sure what this is, exactly. We’ve got our own ideas, but we’ll leave that until you’ve seen the ‘thing’.