Our memory capacity is dying. With the rise of the internet, our brains have become better at forgetting. Usually, forgetting or memory loss is associated with feelings of anxiety, helplessness and disorientation. After all, what would we be without the knowledge, experiences, and memories we have accumulated throughout our lives, with which we have wrapped and reinforced ourselves? In this case, however, we are talking about something else: the tendency to be able to "remember", not "forget", that is, the future possibility of not storing in our memory information that is permanently available to us somewhere in the clouds of the Internet. Something like the “Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind” that happens spontaneously and permanently.
Artist Sohyun Lee's GABA HEAVEN project seeks to explore the relationship between the brain and digital technology and redefine the correlation between the state of memory and death. GABA is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain that reduces anxiety and stress, thereby regulating human calmness. Digital technology is like a GABA to us. Despite the erosion of memory and degeneration of brain development such as digital dementia, digital technology makes us comfortable and laid-back. One of the reasons is that there are many future possibilities that will replace our memory abilities.
GABA HEAVEN's exhibition is conceived as a funeral parlor of memory citing Korean funeral attributes. This funeral, however, is not somber, rather it is reminiscent of the funeral-celebration in Akira Kurosawa's Dreams (1990). GABA HEAVEN is thus a relatively pleasant meditation on human transience, but at the same time we can read in it a critique of the greatest modern power capital in the form of data and access to it. Although Sohyun Lee is a graduate of painting at Hongik University in Seoul and Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg, she currently studies media art at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne and also works with 3D animation and augmented reality. The artist has prepared a funeral of memories for the visitors of Galerie mladých via an AR app. Perhaps joy can be experienced at this funeral.