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Records and Habits. The Time Machine / Images of Space

This project focused on the centrality of what is registered by experience in the acquisition of knowledge and the creation of a personal discourse, and on habit as place – mould or mask – which permits what we feel and learn to be updated every time we encounter something new.

Trace, inscription, clue, register, archive, itinerary, memory, residue, scenario, habit and habitat: these were some of the concepts that acted as starting points for the selection of the authors for this project. All these words refer us to a clear sense of definition of spaces and places negotiated in different ways, to actions and times with different rhythms and intensities, to registers of past experience and marks, traces and remains that we can reincorporate into the present; however, they also refer to ways of inhabiting and to forms of ordering, selecting and presenting knowledge. Record and archive, for example, are words that designate both the action and its effect, and this idea suggested a possible development towards a territory of memory, presence and permanence: how do we decide what is to be registered or archived? And how is it recovered, how is it given a new presence? According to María Moliner’s Diccionario de uso del español, the Spanish word itinerario (itinerary) derives from iter, path or journey, and is a synonym for route, course, journey, whilst also including the drawing or plan of that route. Or, as Joan Roca i Albert points out, discussing the theme of urban itineraries: ‘By an art of “itinerising” we do not refer to a poetic journeying, but to the awareness that all itineraries are structured forms of emotions and knowledge that are presented to us in different ways, according to how their routes are constructed, and to their rhythm.’ If the marks that are recorded derive from a higher intensity, from a difference in strength that is solidified in space and memory, how can we represent the variations in the traces and inscriptions of time?

The authors, far from ‘illustrating’ or adapting to the initial guidelines – Records and Habits – proposed images and stories that would finally get this collective project working.