How to reconstruct a memory

17/05/2024 - 08:00 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The DHUB is hosting an exhibition that makes it possible to reconstruct the memories of citizens using artificial intelligence.


If you’ve ever wondered what this thing that everyone’s been talking about lately, artificial intelligence, is actually for, between 17th May and 28th July you’ll be shown very clearly what application this technology has been designed exclusively for each and every one of you. Do you want them to ‘reconstruct’ a memory for you? Then come and consult with the professionals at the Citizen’s Office of Synthetic Memories, which has just opened at Disseny Hub Barcelona (DHub).

The project has the support of the City Council in general and the Mayor’s Office in particular through the Bit Habitat’s Proactive City project (Barcelona Institute of Technology for the Habitat Foundation). The office offers citizens the chance to recover undocumented visual memories.

But what exactly are we talking about? You will find out if you ask for an interview with one of the two professionals in charge of managing the project. You will talk to them during an interview of about one hour. Put your hands in their hands, explain to them with words and signs, if possible, your visual memory and they will use artificial intelligence to reconstruct it.

It sounds like science fiction, doesn’t it? It is an initiative of Domestic Data Streamers (DDS), a multidisciplinary Barcelona-based collective with an international background dedicated to converting data and figures into installations that interact with the people who see them. This time, they create visual reconstructions based on the personal experiences of the people interviewed and ‘recreate’ fragments of their past after individual interviews. 

Are they real reconstructions of the past? Not at all. You have to think that they are only reinterpretations of the events you remember and that, often, your memories are less real than you think. So that you bear this in mind, the images that will be generated in this Citizen’s Synthetic Memory Office are of a diffuse and dreamlike nature, so that you remember at all times that this is not an image of reality, but a subjective reinterpretation of an event in which the details will be imprecise. It is a precaution that allows us to clearly distinguish real memories from the ‘synthetic memories’ that arise from this experience.

With everything that has been reconstructed, there will be an exhibition that can be visited from 17th May until 15th September. It is Synthetic Memories, an immersive exhibition that will combine technology with the personal accounts of the Barcelona residents who took part in the experience. The exhibition can be seen from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Would you like to reconstruct a memory? Then go and make an appointment with the professionals who are in charge of the Citizen’s Office of Synthetic Memories, but first check the website for all the information on the subject.