Studio 03: Memento

Studio brief

The Memento research studio employs a critical, layered and multi-disciplinary approach to the problems around memory and society.

We are not interested in nostalgia, nor in idealising the past, but in the practise of remembering forward. As such the research is concentrated on contemporary culture and the critical role of memory in a climate of decreasing certainties. Memento is a project that engages with the role of memory in creative practice, social settings and thought. We look at the city, the art work and at the way people remember at every scale. We will be looking at moments, rather than monuments, experiences rather than assumptions, people and works rather than personalities and ‘isms’. The resulting written work will aim to reflect the conversations and questions we encounter through a set of focused individual investigations.

As an introduction to the field of thought and research, a series of lectures will explore such themes as:

  • Radical Forgetting (on memory disorders)
  • Objects of Re-minding (Psychoanalysis and Form)
  • Souvenirs of the Now (case study: Heidelberg Project, Detroit)
  • Against Nostalgia (the philosophy of critical remembering)

Readings will inform our seminar group discussion. Texts will include philosophical essays as well as prose, to encourage for a wide range of exploration to the individual writing project. In addition creative writing workshops will allow you to share our initial ideas and frame the first steps towards writing your dissertation. Students will be encouraged to develop their individual topic around their chosen case study. In joining the Memento seminar group it is understood that the chosen topic should relate to the proposed field of interest and treat memory as a critical tool in encountering contemporary questions and problems of the society you aim to operate in as practitioners and researchers.

Suggested readings, resources and preparatory activities

Introductions to aspects of memory: 

Memory disorder research links (example of applied research): 

Other projects (for inspiration): 

Image: The Heidelberg Project, Detroit, USA. Photo: Aleks Catina

The Heidelberg Project, Detroit, USA


Tutor Aleks Catina

Dissertation studios


Cass Studios archive by year