“Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin?…We propose to pursue… an active externalism, based on the active role of the environment in driving cognitive processes.”
Working in close collaboration with researcher and cognitive scientist Robin van Emden, Extended Memory is the first artistic research project of Johan Nieuwenhuize. The project consists of a visual memory of the city presented in a site specific installation.
Extended Memory takes the so-called “extended mind thesis” as its point of departure. This thesis by the philosophers Andy Clark and David Chalmers states that we are inclined to offload our memories onto objects: our minds can outsource some of the work of remembering to the objects that surround us. Each object could potentially substitute a memory in our minds. As long as the object is available, the memory can be reactivated. But once the object is gone, the memory may be irretrievably lost as well.
Robin and Johan will be investigating the many fractional ways we construct and represent memories of cities we live in, visit, work or play. Following in the footsteps of Andy Clark and David Chalmers, Nieuwenhuize seeks to capture how our memories are formed and reconfigured, in a continuous to and fro between our minds and the cities we live in.
He deliberately creates a curated extended memory of his own – while seeking for new ways of photography while doing so.
The first work in progress presentation with 184 photographs taken in both Tokyo and The Hague took place at JCA De Kok, The Hague in October 2016.
Currently the scientist and the artist are developing a site specific installation of the work.