“The students who participated in the project were generous and exuberant collaborators and contributed to this snapshot of a profound moment of cultural and economic upheaval and for that I am deeply grateful. I hope that when you look at this piece, whatever the platform where you may view it, the students who made it will help you to remember that movement is possible in every moment.” — Chris Doyle
Commissioned by CAP UCLA to commemorate the UCLA Centennial in collaboration with the Student Committee for the Arts, Memento Vivere is a project that reimagines the form a contemporary public artwork might take in a contemporary world. In December of 2019, 60 UCLA students participated in an improvisational video shoot on the campus. All were asked to perform a physical gesture that was related to their own relationship to time. These short videos are assembled as the minute hand on a digital clock, positioning these sixty students as literal time keepers of the future.
The clock was originally conceived as a large-scale projection for Royce Hall to be on display throughout the graduation ceremonies of 2020. As the project evolved, the world changed with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the words of the artist Chris Doyle, “At that point, whatever our own personal sense of time might have been, we all have had to acknowledge that it, along with everything else in our world, has changed radically. The clock was adapted to become a living memento.”
Memento Vivere can be downloaded for free where it keeps time in a digital world. Click here.
The hour-long video loop can be viewed in its entirety at CAP UCLA’s YouTube channel here.
Memento Vivere was developed as part of a class in the UCLA Department of Design Media Arts with Jade Box, Stephen Heo, Kai Watanabe and Tina Wen. Special thanks to Casey Reas. Photography by Matthew Miller