The Mnemocity – developed since 2014 at the Salzburg Urstein Institut – brings together more than 2.500 years of experience in cultural transmission with state-of-the-art technology.
We bring the antique Art of Memory back to the present by transferring the memory city into the digital age. It is like reactivating an ancient machine that has lain dormant for centuries and is now put back into operation. While the overall goal is to facilitate learning, our Mnemocity is so much more than a remedy for poor memory. It is the platform by which our study programmes are held together as by an animating principle.
Salzburg in Virtual Reality
Largely based on the renaissance topography of the city of Salzburg, our Mnemocity is a condensed sequence of urban space functioning as an external mnemotechnical storage system. The spatial context of a given architectural surrounding represents an entire field of study enclosed within the walls of a city
Imagine the Memory City
As one subsequently walks through the virtual twin of a real city, the student comes across the various areas of study and accesses the relevant course contents while exploring the three-dimensional space of the city of Salzburg in virtual reality. As an architectural ensemble populated with a sequential path of memories, the baroque building facades, niches, fountains, cloisters, alleys and boulevards of Salzburg are apt to engender remembrance by crosslinking physical and psychological structure. The simple act of strolling through the streets is equal to studying, thereby setting out an easy path to long-term memory storage. In this way, our Mnemocity reveals the performance of remembering as a creative act.
Now that we’ve introduced our Mnemocity and have taken our first walk through the city of Salzburg in virtual reality, come back next Monday. We’ll explain Quintilian’s meaning for “the treasury of eloquence” as well as go back and see how the Greek and Roman rhetoricians used memory before “google” became a verb. Furthermore we will have a short introduction to Simonides’ legendary creation of the Art of Memory. Through him, we highlight the relations between memory, architecture and rhetoric.
MNEMONICS II: The Mnemocity