Photo : Michiko ISHIKAWA
A churning matrix of steel rods, it’s meshed shadow webbed on the wall, slowly etches a recording of its own movements into a rusted steel plate.
The first scientific rumination on memory as something tactile was published in 1904, with evolutionary biologist Richard Semon’s introduction of the engram (Semon, R. (1904). Die Mneme. Leipzig: W. Engelmann). Semon’s book on memory is considered somewhat of a seminal work; The supposition of an engram cell into which memories are engraved in response to external stimuli, is still lauded in neuroscientific circles to this very day. It is therefore not simply a subjective process of memorization Sunada alludes to in Engram, nor entirely scientific, but rather a consolidation of the two. It is a testament to the tactility of remembrance, not only as Semon postulated, but to a tangible experience of the subject itself.