Welcome to the memory box. This website contains a collection of memories of the city of Guelph, Canada. They were collected in March 2011, as part of a creative research project exploring how memory is collated and archived. Click the "Home" button and watch a video on how to use the site, or click the "Search for memories" thought bubble button to enter the website directly. Move your mouse or finger around the black screen to catch the memories. Each memory leaves a remnant behind on the screen. You can watch memories again by clicking on the remnants before they fade. The process is random, and memories may repeat, but keep searching, there are hundreds to find. Click the thought bubble to search again.

This project constructed this community-made virtual memory box in order to "collect", that is perform memories about Guelph and the experience of brushing past the city. Participants were either approached on the street, or attended a workshop at the Guelph Public Library where they shared their memories. Workshop participants brought objects or items, made improvised performances on the spot of things they have seen or remember, wrote text, drew pictures, took photographs, or recorded sound or voice. Throughout the workshop they watched as each memory was loaded live onto a website (preset up for this purpose) to make a virtual memory box of this moment. Producing a mishmash of old and new, fictional and felt, touristic and imagined the website performs the action of memory collation, producing weird and wonderful juxtapositions, exposing technological limits and creating transient new interpersonal connections with the city and the people who live there.

The project is brought to you by the Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice research project, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Major Collaborative Research Initiative.



Dr Rebecca Caines is an award winning performance maker and scholar. She was the joint recipient of the 2008 Dwight Conquergood Award from Performance Studies international. She has published articles in a series of books, most recently the Routledge Reader in Community Performance, as well as papers in journals such as Performance Research, Afterimage, Australasian Drama Studies and Australian cultural studies journal M/C. She has also developed large scale, multidisciplinary community projects in Australia, Northern Ireland and Canada. In her current postdoctoral fellowship with major Canadian research initiative, Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice, she is exploring community-based sound art and new technologies, in order to investigate the relationship between improvisation, sound and the creation of site/space/place. Her sound art collaboration “Community Sound [e]Scapes”, involving community groups from three countries launched at the Guelph Jazz Festival in 2010.


John Campbell is a software developer, web designer and network engineer. He has worked in computer vision on autonomous robotic applications, including high level computer decision making; as well as utilizing Web 2.0 technologies to facilitate online media manipulation. His work explores new technologies in interdisciplinary arts practice. For the last two years he has been co-coordinator of the Community Sound [e]Scapes project, an international sound art and new media project working across three countries, based at the Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice research unit at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He designed the online presence and developed custom built online sound art software.


Up and coming work includes several applications for mobile devices both in the Digital Humanities and Improvisation fields.

email: johntgcampbell@gmail.com

Nicholas Loess is a PhD student in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. He lives in Guelph with his partner Rosa and animal co-creators Emilia and Peanut. His current research is exploring the creative linkages between experimental film and improvisation. His work has been featured in a number of research databases and exhibitions across Canada, the most recent being an audiovisual art installation for the Community Sound [e]Scapes international sound art and new media project at the Macdonald Stewart Art Gallery in Guelph, Ontario in September 2010. His creative work has been critically and artistically influenced by Trinh Minh-Ha, Chris Marker, Dziga Vertov, and Gilles Deleuze.

Bree Hadley is Senior Lecturer in Performance Studies at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. Her research investigates the construction of identity in contemporary performance, concentrating on the way artists marked by gender, race or (dis)ability mobilise images and media from the public sphere to subvert stereotypes. She has a particular interest in practices that position spectators as co-performers, the performativity of spectatorship, and the efficacy and ethics of such co-performances. Hadley’s research has appeared in a range of journals including Performance Research, About Performance, Australasian Drama Studies, Brolga: An Australian Journal About Dance, and M/C Journal, and in the collection International Faust Studies: Adaptation, Translation, Reception. Hadley is also currently Vice President of the Australasian Association for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, and a nationally recognised commentator on all forms of drama, theatre and performance in her role as theatre critic for The Australian.