Dungeon of Toulouse, a place of memory

Dungeon, the historic heart of Toulouse, heart of the archives

With digital and the Internet, our memory structure is undergoing a radical transformation. A proposal on observing changing memory over the ages.

The three times of memory

In the paleolithic space, traces of memory are lodged on the walls at the bottom of the caves, with a ritual each time reiterated. The painter-shaman draws lines, points, curves; it merges with the wall which he crosses to travel into the world of spirits. The totem animals seem to come out of the wall to come and meet us.

More than 80% of the world’s Palaeolithic ornate caves are located in the south-west of France! As such, our region enjoys a special heritage that the whole world envy us. Between Ariège and Dordogne, Toulouse is at the heart of the memory traced Paleolithic.

In the Neolithic space, writing supplements orality as a mode of transmission of memory. Writing outsources memory, book structures and freezes it, and the library is the central node that organizes and capitalizes the history of humanity. As such, the dungeon is the place of the centralized archives of Toulouse. It is the heart of Toulouse’s historical memory.

In the space of the noolithic (*), knowledge is at the heart of the organization of this new anthropological era; memory is everywhere, collective, shared and immediate; knowledge and experience are organized around our omniscient smartphones, new guardian-angels that connect us with beyond. Intelligence is now really collective, in permanent recombination. This new space of knowledge makes us dream of a collective utopia that values singularities, promotes exchange and creation, gives the speech to everyone; a utopia whose contours are still very uncertain, even improbable, as long as the current supporters of power will not have accepted the necessary changes…

(*) Noolithic or the stone age of the spirit, according to Pierre Levy – The collective intelligence, 1998


Artistic proposal

For the video mapping on the dungeon, the artistic proposal consists of reflecting these three different times of the memory. The dungeon is the symbolic architecture of the memory of Toulouse and its region; it becomes transparent; parts of our history are re-animated.

For each of the spaces, the animations are incarnated by the animated holons- wired animated characters – which compose the paintings, structure the writing, organize the memory and relaunch the messages from here below transmitted from beyond; Santa Claus just has to stand …

Each animation time is followed by a time of interaction with the public: the holons then come to display the messages sent from the smartphones of the spectators.