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The Fading Memory of The Scribe


August 2023

Collaborative show with John Harris at Public Record, Tāmaki Makaurau.

The Fading Memory Of The Scribe is the first collaborative show between John Harris and Steven Junil Park. The production of these works has been a negotiation between their practices, developing a shared language through an exploration of materials and processes. Custom built machinery and computer programming meet hand craft in this body of work that bridges two very different ways of making and a relationship that has spanned over a decade.

The expanse of time as both a subjective experience, and a static concept is examined through the motif of encoded sound. The failure of physical media to record our experiences faithfully, and the failure of memory to maintain truthful records of our lives are both tragic and beautiful features of the human experience. The wheel turns without slowing: sometimes it is a grace, sometimes a cruelty. What would we see if we could leave this ceaseless churn for a moment and view that forward march of time as one flat plane?

As humans we can conceptualise the vast expanse of time stretching before and after us, yet we are bound to the intensity of the present moment. We are humbled by monuments which have stood for millennia yet in the face of geological time these become insignificant. The memories of our existence will fade and the meaning we so urgently create will fail to translate with time. The scribe, whose memory is fading, does not fight this current of entropy but finds acceptance and floats in its water. They release their grip on permanence to find beauty in the fading and the failing. Our experience is a symptom of time and time is a symptom of our experience.

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