When I travel I often take a vast number of digital photos as mementos of my travels. Each photo captures one memory, one place, one moment I deemed significant enough to capture. But the further a trip lies in the past, the less I tend to revisit these unmanageable records of digital photos and the more my memories of the experiences fade away.
In this project I chose to synthesize large amounts of images into abstract representations of places I visited while travelling. My goal was to distill the essence of my memories without suggesting concrete episodes to remember. By creating a single abstract image from a large collection of photos, I wanted to create a souvenir that can evoke various associations with my personal experiences, while also being compact enough to integrate it into my personal space where it can be serendipitously reencountered on a daily basis.
My first association with a place can often be described as a blur of different shades of colours that then form into more crisp images of concrete memories. I therefore chose to use shades of colours and geometric patterns of the geography of a city as a basis for my representation. First I algorithmically extract the most prominent colours and proportions from a set of images taken in one place. I had to tweak the algorithm many times before I found the resulting palettes compelling. I then used the output of the algorithm as inspiration to create watercolour paintings, further adjusting the colours to bring them even closer to my memories. As a basis for my each painting, I chose a part of the map that I often consulted when navigating through the city as another way to stimulate my reminiscing. By manually creating physical watercolour paintings I wanted to give back authenticity and preciousness to my mementos that sometimes get lost in our massive collections of digital photos.