H.M. & The Aesthetics of Memory Rountable hosted by UAG

H.M. & The Aesthetics of Memory

Roundtable Hosted by UAG


Sponsored by UCI Illuminations: The Chancellor’s Arts & Culture Initiative

January 28, 2016, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Winfred Smith Hall


SPEAKERS: Dr. James McGaugh, Kerry Tribe, and Dr. Juli Carson

On the interdisciplinary subject of neuroscience and experimental filmmaking, we are proud to mount an exhibition of Kerry Tribe’s experimental film installation, H.M. in our University of California, Irvine Contemporary Arts Center Gallery, January 2016; and host a one evening conference on the subject of brain imaging, memory, learning and trauma on January 28, Winfred Smith Hall, 5:00 pm – 7:00.

H.M is a two-channel presentation of a single film based on the true story of an anonymous, memory-impaired man known in scientific literature as “Patient H.M.” In 1953 H.M. underwent experimental brain surgery to alleviate his epilepsy.  The unintended result was a radical and persistent amnesia.  Though he was no longer able to make lasting memories, his short-term recall, lasting about 20 seconds, remained intact. The film is played through two adjacent synchronized projectors with a 20 second delay between them, so the viewer sees two simultaneous side-by-side projections of the two different parts of the same reel of film. The structure of the installation and the nature of the material together produce a sensation of mnemonic dissonance much like that experienced by H.M.

The art exhibition and roundtable are free to the community. The UAG’s goal is to blend the academic and local communities on the subject of art and neuroscience. The participants are:  Dr. James McGaugh (Founder UCI Department of Neurobiology and Behavior and the first Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory), Kerry Tribe (Artist), and Dr. Juli Carson (Curator and Moderator).


James McGaugh pioneered research investigating brain systems mediating the effects of drugs and stress hormones on memory consolidation. He was the first to use post training treatments to distinguish between learning and performance effects in studies of drug enhancement of memory. He is also recognized for revealing the role of the amygdala in regulating memory processes in Efferent brain regions. He founded the first Department of Neurobiology and Behavior and the first Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.

Kerry Tribe’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at The Power Plant in Toronto, Modern Art, Oxford, Camden Arts Centre in London and Arnolfini in Bristol.  It has been included in recent significant exhibitions at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., The recipient of a Creative Capital grant and a USA Artists Award, her works is in the public collections of The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, The Hammer Museum, The Orange County Museum of Art and The Generali Foundation among others.  She was a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin in 2005-2006 and received her MFA from UCLA in 2002.

Juli Carson is Professor of Art History in the Art Department at UC Irvine, the Founding Director of the Critical and Curatorial MFA Program, and Artistic Director of the University Art Galleries. Her most recent book is The Limits of Representation: Psychoanalysis and Critical Aesthetics (Buenos Aires: Letra Viva Press, 2011). Her forthcoming book is The Conceptual Unconscious: A Poetics of Critique, PoLyPen Press, a subsidiary of b.books Press.  She is currently preparing a monograph on the work of Daniel Joseph Martinez.

This exhibition and ancillary programming are made possible with generous support by UCI Illuminations and the 2014 Claire Trevor Commemorative Star Event.

Thursday Jan 28, 2016, 5:00 pm