Interview by Amy Pickles with Renée Turner for the Rotterdam Arts & Sciences Lab

RASL___Research_Interview__Renée_Turner
Illustration by Cesare Davolio

Amy Pickles: To me, your website exists like a digital wardrobe, I can nip around in and out of links and clicks. It reminds me of riffling through my own clothes when getting dressed – unable to choose, making pairings / connections and discarding them for something else. I reach the Do Not Forget tab, where you have linked a selection of images with the words;

Do not forget that you fed the pigeons in Piazzo san Marco

Do not forget the leaking pipe in winter

Do not forget the Ouzo that was once poured

I feel like forgetting is the warp and memory can be the weft of your project. They are both active in your process as well as what you are questioning. Could you talk a little about how to conduct research that includes forgetting? It seems immediately contradictory, but can there be more space for not knowing in research where you let something go, or travel by itself?

Renée Turner: There is that wonderful quote from Chris Marker’s San Soleil: “I will have spent my life trying to understand the function of remembering, which is not the opposite of forgetting, but rather its lining.” Remembering and forgetting are connected activities, and somehow my research needed to accommodate that tension. You know, one of the things I like about writing in a digital environment is that there is no master narrative, only tentative propositions, networked connections that can be followed or ignored. Maybe as a form, it suits my own inability to prioritise and make decisions and my desire to circle around things without really landing on a single point or conclusion. In this, I feel a connection to Gisèle – admittedly perhaps more projected than real.

Continue reading the full interview here.