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Gestural Traces and Material Memory


Susan Giles



Gestural Traces and Material Memory is an interdisciplinary project featuring art and music, based on stories and accompanying hand gestures of choir members at a retirement home as they describe the meaning of home. The idea of home and our experiences of home provide the springboard for these stories, as the extended isolation and loss experienced during the pandemic changed the ways in which we think about home. This project seeks to serve as a point of social engagement through listening, sharing, and connecting personal to collective memory.

Artist Susan Giles created drawings of motion-captured gestures which are presented in the form of a book with each participant’s stories. These stories and gestures then form the basis for music written by composer Amy Wurtz. The lyrics incorporate direct quotes from the participants and are performed by the choir members themselves.

A copy of the book was given to each of the participants at the end of the project.

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