‘The Memory of Water’ is a sound and video installation, in three parts, exploring the nature of human consciousness.

Part One, this film, examines memory and reflection.The completed film is 28 minutes long and is intended to run as a repeating cycle.

‘The Memory of Water' (part I) was acquired by ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) in December 2004 as part of its permanent collection of exemplary works by Australian and international artists. It featured in the show 'PROOF: The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes', which opened on December 8th 2004 and ran until 13th February 2005.


The Memory of Water (part I)’ was shot over a period of ten weeks in 2004.

The participants were chosen to provide the greatest variation in age, status, occupation, ethnicity and nationality.

Participants were asked to sit on a stool and their eyes aligned to a grid in the viewfinder. They were then played a recording of instructions to open and close their eyes over a fixed time period. After usually two or three takes, without prior knowledge, they were then asked for their most significant memory.


The work explores the relationship between the drop and the ocean in terms of human experience, as well as examining the gaze as a bridge between inner and outer worlds.

The words and the eyes are played out of synch, so that one person’s voice speaks with another’s gaze. This simple device releases the memories from individual ownership, and the work becomes a gesture towards transcendence.

The voices are set against a backdrop of ambient and abstract musical sounds derived from striking glass bells, as well as electronics. The harmonics are then adapted to heighten and create an auditory subtext to the subject’s recollections.


the 'PROOF' Exhibition catalogue is available from ACMI publications

ACMI, Federation Square, Flinders Street, Melbourne 3000, Australia.

PROOF/ACMI QuickTime movie