IN THE TIMEHOLEThe research I want to develop during the Master comes from my fascination with the mind´s subjectivity. How time perception can be different from one person to another, how people remember things that never happened or for example how some people associate different numbers with specifics colours, as I do. For me five is red without a doubt, four is brown and seven is green.

I first realized that not everybody had this strong association between numbers and colours many years ago. This was a surprise for me so I did some research and I found out that its a perceptual condition call grapheme color synesthesia, a form of synestesia in which an individual´s perception of numbers and letters is associated with the experience of colors.

When I started researching more about the subjective process of the brain. I found something that really interested me in an article.


In the above image, you can see a neuroimage of the same person, asked to remember the past and to imagine himself in a close future. As you can see, the same areas of the brain, highlighted in yellow and red, are used to both remember the past and to imagine the future. So neuroscientist have essentially found that the act of remembering and imaging activate a common network in the brain, including the Hipocampus.

For me this connection about memory and imagination, about past and future in our brain was very interesting but what fascinated me the most was this neuroimage. Because suddenly I started to imagine that these yellow-red spots are like two doors to the same wormhole or timehole. A time hole that connects past and future and allow us to experience a mental time travel.


What is was also new in this article in relation to this mental time travel is a neuroscience principle call Reconsolidation, that states that as long as we have memories to recall, the margin of those memories are being modified to fit what we know. So your memories are becoming less about what you remember and more about you.

So we can see that past, present and future are strongly connected in our brain. But thanks to the Reconsolidation principle, we can also see that the way our memories evolve tell us a lot about who we are.

I actually had this experience with my grandmother at the end of her life. During the last 10 years of her life she was gradually loosing her memory but repeating the same stories from her youth and childhood. The stories were gradually turned into stories where facts were lost or mixed-up and where reality was confused with fantasy.


Obviously, it was all a product of her illness, but as strange as it might sound, the way in which her memories evolved –with all those deliriums of fantasy- helped me understand and get to know better who my grandmother really was.

So in my research I want to investigate how I can use this neuroscience perspective, as a tool to construct a narrative that tells a story through the subjective “mental time” of its characters. A narrative which is faithful to the “timehole” that we have in our brain.

I will use this narrative for the project I want to develop during the master. A project where I tell the story of three different generations of the same family. A family where every member seems to escape from their reality, from their present. Some of them escape looking to the past with nostalgia and others escape looking forward, towards a future where everything seems possible.

genraciones ellasCORT

For me its still difficult see how I can materialize this neuroscience approach into a film narrative but there are three things I would like to achieve:

Firstly: The narrative has to show how the past and the future overshadow the present of the characters.

Secondly: The narrative has to display how time perception is related to emotions.

Thirdly: The narrative should make visible the unconscious revelations we make about our selves when we remember.

One month ago I did a simple exercise where I played a little bit with the idea about three different layers of time coexisting. Here is a brief excerpt. I think it may help you understand a bit better what I´m looking for.

During the master I would like to continue developing some exercises where I play with The “reconsolidation Principle”, the way our memories evolve, and how time perception is related to emotion.

The different experiments will be part of the series “Still life”.


The first experiment will consist in a video portrait where I depict a person from the dual perspective “Internal time” “Real Time”. The video will be the transition from one perspective to the other. In this portrait I will develop the idea behind this very simple video screened in the laptop.

In this video in order to see the time passing you have to stop watching it, an look to another place. Just in the moment you return to watch the video is when you realized that something is changing, that something is moving. So you have to stop watching in order to really watch what is happening. For me this effect is very interesting because represent the invisibility of the passing of time. A concept I want to combined in this video with the idea of time perception.

So summarizing this presentation: If I had to reformulate my research question I think it would be: How can I use a neuroscience approach, as a tool, to create a narrative where I tell the story through the subjective internal time of its characters?


Stanislaw sent me this beautifull video about the mutual atracction I share with Robert Bresson.

Days after, in Urszula Antoniak Lecture, She quoted Robert Bresson “Working with real people, as actors, is working with what they hide instead of what they show”.

Now, I´m sure that the interest behind this attraction for hands in Bresson is the same as me: Hands are the part of our body which reveals the most about what we hidde. But also I know that in the future I would like to work more with hands and with this «Bresson´s working method».

Here bellow you can find an interesting article that explain some reserach about hand´s movement:

«Research demonstrates that the movements we make with our hands when we talk constitute a kind of second language, adding information that’s absent from our words. It’s learning’s secret code: Gesture reveals what we know. It reveals what we don’t know. And it reveals (as Donald Rumsfeld might put it) what we know, but don’t yet know we know. What’s more, the congruence—or lack of congruence—between what our voices say and how our hands move offers a clue to our readiness to learn…»

Read more:





Nowdays we have devices of «digital memory» (Clipnarrative, Mecam…etc) that offer us the possibility of storage our daily live for an affordable price and little effort.

I´m really interesting in all the questions that this fact open about a possible future where we can rewind our memory everytime we need and the consequences of  this permanent digital memory. We know that the act of remembering is as important as the act of forgetting (We need both in order to have a healthy mind). But beyond this questions I want to use this devices in order to experiment with multiperspective narrative, memory narrative and digital visualization of forgetting.

I´ve been thinking about create the following exercise (this is an idea in development).

1. Four people are asked to use for one day this tiny camera.

2. These four people have to be a group (friends, family etc) who are going to be part or attend to the same event that day.

3. The event should be a meaningful event for that group. Of course the most interesting the event and the group of people are the more interesting will be the exercise. So this is a very important point, but I need time to think and research about it. 

4. Days after the event they will be asked about what they remember about that day (They will be asked to try to remember everything hour per hour).Their memories will be recorded.

5. The memories of each person will be check with the image they recorded.

6. The image will be distort through a process called «Databending» creating an effect called «Wordpad Effect». This software disrupt, intentionally, the information contained within a file. The level of distorsion in the image will be directly proportional to the level of forgetting in their memories. So if certain moment is remebered by the person very well the image will be very clear without «Wordpad effect». In the case a moment is forgotten the image will be highly distorsionated by this effect.

7. I will try to recreate that day an their experience mixing togueter all their memories within an Spatial Montage, where we can see and hear different interpretations of the same day and verify their memories. I think I can create an interesting exercise with all these elements but I have to think more about it. So…

To be continued…



`One of the most persuasive mistakes is to believe that our visual system gives a faithfull representation of what is «out there» in the same way that a movie camera would do. (…)You are not seeing the world in the rich detail that you implicitly believed you were; in fact, you are not aware of most of what hits your eyes. You only encode small amounts of information. The rest is assumption´

This words come from the book «Incógnito» written by the neuroscientist and writer David Engleman. I read this book time ago but a few months ago re-reading the parts that I highlited, I started to think if what we see, our level of atention, can be even more reduce in situations we´re too aware of ourselves. I found this idea relevant for my research because is related to the idea of  «Reconsolidation» expose in my Research proposal and lead me to the idea that memories can be less reliable as much closer we´re involve on them. So I asked my self:

How much can change the level of attention if an spectator watch a situation  with and without him?.

Which one is going to be more reliable when the spectator will remeber them? The one he is involved in or the one who is not?

What Can the difference between the level of attention tell us about the spectator? What Can the difference between his memories ( where he is involve or not) tell us about him?

This questions are linked to the core of my research proposal:

«Obviously, it was all a product of her illness, but as strange as it might sound, the way in which her memories evolved –with all those deliriums of fantasy- helped me understand and get to know who my grandmother really was.»

The evolution of memories can help us to decipher the inner self and the multiple layers behind the surface, as I experienced with my grandmother.

And because I think this is crucial for understanding the brain´s narrative so therefore the narrative I´m seeking for my project I want to made the following experiment:

1. Film 5 persons in an specific situation without them being aware of it.

2. Show to each person the video. In one part of it the person is involved and in the other part the person is not there. Meanwhile they are watching the video one camera (in the same situation of the screen) is filming the person. This video will be used to obtain the eye tracking in order to see how much attention have the person about the global scene while he is there (how much the person look himself during the sequence) and when he is not involved.  This will be the first indicator of self awareness.

3. Some questions will be asked to the person about what happened in each part of the video.  The difference between the level of attention in each part of the video (the one he is involved and the one he is not) will give us the second level of self awareness.

4. After the screening the person will be asked about what he remember about the two parts of the video.

5. After a period of time the person will be asked 9 times more (with an space of days or months among them)  about what he remember from the two parts of the video. With this points (4 and 5) I want to see if the memories where we are involved could be less reliable than the memories we are not. But also see if the memories where we are involved are more supceptible to change while recreating them than the one we are not involved in.

 I´m still thinking about this exercise and new points to ad an change but I think it could be a very interesting process in order to see how our level of self awareness can change our perception of facts and memories and how much the act of «reconsolidation»  reveal about us.

…to be continued…



 «When Diaghilev began again producing Russian ballets, some critics complained that Petrushka’s decorations had lost the startling polychromy they originally possessed: yet they were the same ones, perfectly conserved. Diaghilev saw himself forced into heightening the tones to put them on par with the spectacular memory that remained of these.»

Around the Day in Eighty Worlds (La Vuelta al Día en Ochenta Mundos). Julio Cortázar.

I’m interested in ‘lies’ and their conscious and unconscious mechanisms to transform truth; the daily lie that lives within each of us as a mode of survival or as a reflexive act, a natural and spontaneous lie. I’m interested in the creative lie that enables biographies to become artistic manifestations; the lie that permits the spectacular memory of the sets of Petrushka and the lie that rewrites history books. I’m interested in lies, in all their variety. A ‘lie’ called fiction or fantasy and that is capable of slipping into reality and transforming itself into truth.

Postproduction is a way of ‘lying’. Perhaps that is why it interests me so much, not only as a means to an end but also as an end in itself, as an artistic expression. A postproduction that is capable of creating multiple layers, new meanings and original perspectives of the research material. I’m interested in everything related to postproduction, the processes that can manipulate, sample and forge, and their translation into an artistic and cinematographic language.

But if I’m interested in lies, its because above all I’m interested in truth, in being honest in the process of profound change that my work finds itself in.


“In that gigantic instant I saw millions of delightful and atrocius acts; none astonished me more than the fact that all of them together occupied the same point, without overlapping or transparency… What my eyes saw was simultaneous: what I shall transcribe will be successive, because language is successive.”

 Jorge Luis Borges, El Aleph


I want to make a film with a fragmentary narrative that compiles different times, whereby all three stories each (with their own sequential narrative) are subordinated to one superior narrative: spatial montage. This structure will permit that the three parts act in parallel creating links that can participate in different stories and vice versa. I therefore want to establish a linked narration system that –much like a Russian doll- puts in contact both narration levels within a complex system.

Schematically, this narrative could be defined as a kind of superior cover: a spatial montage (installation and interactivity) that is host to three stories that make up a film. In this montage I aim to highlight the “between” of the stories: the relation between generations. A “between” that takes into account what is not told but what exists as a link and works through synapse, as memory itself does. In this montage, past, present and future can converge, offering us a second level of narrative.

The contact between these two levels will generate intersections between concepts such as times/space and reality/imagination. During the Master, it will therefore become necessary to revise these concepts depending on the evolution of the artistic installation, the internal structure of the film and the relation of the viewer with it. I will seek to develop the construction of a single voice within the narrative. The voice will not be gender specific, but a uniform us (a ‘you’, a ‘me’, a ‘her’) that changes constantly, lending sense to the term “family memory”. The voice thus becomes a collective; a multitude, a family.

Successfully articulating this narrative concept will be one of the main challenges in my research. This necessary challenge will give the project its own language; a language that will be faithful to the complexity of memory and the different space-time layers.

I have sketched a scheme of themes and generational links to organize the structure on which I would later develop the second level with a spatial montage.



Lev Manovich defined the term “spatial montage” for a type of montage that modifies the traditional form of perceiving time in narration and that opposes the idea of succession and sequence. It’s a montage whereby there is no continuity among associated images. It’s therefore no longer one image after the other, but one image plus another. The spatial organization does not seek to prioritize or to offer a fixed path. It’s not so much the images that are of interest, but the relations that can be found between the links and connections of the images.
This “between” implies being aware of what is not in the image, that which remains outside. A “between” that Gilles Delluze singled out as the starting point from which modern cinema developed new relations with thought:

       “[…] the deleting of an everything or a total of images in the benefit of an “outside”  that can insert itself between them”.

Spatial montage thus seeks to become more an image of thought that a reflection of reality. The intention is not to retell a story but to present an image in which we can get lost, that we can construct, de-construct, and find different senses or non-senses.

Although there is a broad range of artists and works that have tried to reflect the concepts and forms hereby described, my intention is to develop this narrative concept through an interactive montage that uses programming and new technologies. This structure, with hypertext features, gives us access to different connections among the three stories.

The development of the spatial montage will imply working together with a programmer and will be one of the fundamental pillars of the research project for the Master.