Excerpt from 'T. L. A.' (Three-Letter Abbreviation) Matthew Buckingham, audio recording, 42 minutes, 1982, original lost, re-recorded 2012
Cognitive psychologists have theorized that we remember sequences of words, digits, or letters by dividing them, or “chunking” them, into shorter groups. Corporations, government agencies, and scientists have long taken advantage of this mnemonic tendency, creating or using names that can be shortened into memorable three-letter abbreviations such as KLM, CIA, and DNA, etc. The three-letter abbreviation, known self-referentially as a TLA, further proliferated with the increased use of computers and other consumer technology. In the spring of 1982 I conducted a memory experiment, typing a list of all the three-letter abbreviations I could recall without consulting any references.
Matthew Buckingham; born 1963; BA University of Iowa; MFA Bard College; studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. He utilizes photography, film, video, audio, writing and drawing to question the role of social memory in contemporary life. His work has been seen at Camden Arts Centre, London; Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Hamburger Bahnhof National Gallery, Berlin; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna; and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.
Nominated by ICA
This work is part of ICA SOUNDWORKS - www.ica.org.uk/soundworks