This series is closely related to the Hail Mary piece and both were exhibited together at Crawford College of Art in Cork. It continues exploring the same theme of human and computer memory by recording aspects of my Grandmother’s decline into Alzheimer’s through memory encoded patterns.
These stitched paper-based works exploit binary code through their colour coding. Red is one, blue is zero. Each one is treated with a different pattern but all are based on the exact same grid. When converted from binary code into ASCII they reveal six simple phrases that capture aspects of the last few years of my nan’s life in the nursing home. Each phrase is encoded in exactly 224 bits.
“Room No. 4, TLC Nursing Home”
A reference to the room that my grandmother occupied in the nursing home in Citywest, Dublin.
“Liz and Trisha are here now”
Something the staff would say to my nanny. My mother and aunt befriended some of the staff at the home.
“Did you take your pills yet?”
As time went by it became harder and harder to convince my nan to take her medication. Harder still as her motor functions broke down and swallowing became a challenge.
“Your Father’s at work”
My nan would often happily talk about people who had passed away a long time ago as if they had just been in the room. I found it comforting to think the ghosts of her friends were visiting her.
“Who’s that oul one there?”
When we took pictures at birthdays and x-mas we would show them to my nan, she would often point to herself in the pictures and ask who that person was. When we told her it was her she would get indignant and firmly state “that’s not me, I’m not that old”.
“You’re not my daughter”
This was the hardest thing for my aunt to hear