Ioana Vreme Moser - Mineral Amnesia | SIMULTAN Festival 2023

Mineral Amnesia explores in sound the evolution and decay of the first erasable programmable silicon memory. Encapsulated under quartz windows, made of pure crystal, EPROMS, now outmoded microchips, lose information once exposed to light. The installation salvages EPROMs from different generations and plays them under discrete Uv light until their sounds are eroded and disappear.

The project traverses the Digital Dark Age and its shadows through the perspective of an obsolete device. In 1971, researchers at Intel invented the Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory, adjacent to the first Microprocessor. With their influx under techno-capitalism, computational power doubled every second year and accelerated even more so today, in pursuit of artificial intelligence. This exponential growth has caused digital information to be unretrievable, lost in old hardware bodies such as these EPROMS, and dumped to form toxic wastelands across the earth’s geological layer.

From the 8k-bit capacity in the 2708 EPROM to the 1Mbit, the project reanimates these chips from the past and probes events from their genesis. Some found EPROMs, programmed from the 70s, transform the information into sounds, and some disclose voice tales. Light becomes an abrasive agent that consumes and distorts data slowly.

Looking at the rise of computational power and its frail anatomy, the project points to lost formats to question the longevity of our digital realm. It remembers that all matter is in a cycle in which decay is ultimately at the mercy of time and natural phenomena. Each loop of sound stored in the memory is wiped progressively as the light sneaks upon the crystal, breaking the sound into incomprehensive patterns. Placed in an ensemble of Eproms, Mineral Amnesia creates a sound composition that erodes to the point of silence.

The project is part of the national cultural program “Timișoara – European Capital of Culture in 2023” and is financed and organized in partnership with the Municipality of Timișoara through the Center for Projects.

Part of

SIMULTAN Festival 2023

SIMULTAN Festival 2023