Time Machine Landings
Kapsula Merrill

Image: Elisa Von Brockdorff

Time Machine Landings
Kapsula Merrill

Malta and Gozo
June – December 2018

Artistic Director: Andrew Alamango
Machine Design & Construction: Matthew Pandolfino
Lighting Design: Andrew Schembri & Tony Gialanzé
Design, Machine Concept & Story: Andre Vujicic
Project Management: Nicole Blackman
PR & Communications: Sarah Mallia & Janelle Borg
Musical Arrangement: Alex Vella Gregory
Script: Jacob Piccinino

Wistin, Armchair Voyager No. 35: Jacob Piccinino
Banda ta’ Memorji Meraviljużi: Norbert Mintoff, Alan Saliba, Albert Garcia

Photographs: Elisa Von Brockdorff

Supported by Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture

The Kapsula Merrill is a performance piece developed for Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture. Each of its six ‘landings’ around Malta were accompanied by an audiovisual installation created by a number of different collaborating artists from footage and audio taken from our archive.

Video and audio clips were taken from 8mm film collections and tapes sourced from the locations in which we performed, allowing audiences to see images and hear sounds that directly related to their community.

The Magnificent Memories Machine aka Kapsula Merill, a time-travelling machine assembled and sent from a distant future to the present to save local memories from disintegration…

In the aftermath of the great ‘wave’ and the ensuing loss of memory, the late Kapsula Merill is sent on a time voyage.

Captained by Armchair Voyager No.35, or Wistin, who is on a mission to gather and digitise forgotten memories which have been long trapped on fast-disintegrating analogue artefacts and dispersed in personal collections in Malta and Gozo.

In a series of official landings the Armchair Voyager and his Magnificent Memories Machine embark on a marauding tour of  the Maltese Islands. At this crucial time in history A.V.35/Wistin is on a quest for the release of forgotten memories.

Traveling back and forth, the voyager presents us with a unique opportunity to gather, digitise and save our cherished memories for all time. By gaining access to them they can be used to reassemble new worlds, now and in a future time and space.

Trapped on the other side of the digital divide, somewhere on the analogue shores, lies a chest, a treasure of memories trapped. Familiar people dancing, a flickering in the carnival procession, the yearning of nanna’s singing, a guitar out of tune, a moustached whisper from the other side.

The open reels, cassettes, photographs, vinyl and film, their bottled up promise of hidden gems and forgotten dreams, a collective memory waiting to guide and inspire new tides.

If we only could infuse the digital seas with our local cultural debris, we would cast our nets and with the precious catch assemble new worlds rooted in what once made us who we are.

“My songs are of time and distance...
They send me new things but I prefer old things…”
COUNT ZERO, William Gibson

Virtual shadow boxes of washed up debris, inspired by the first armchair voyager Joseph Cornell and William Gibson’s fragmented artist A.I. from the orbiting ‘Villa Straylight’.

The Magnificent Memory Machine is a device and a movement to collect, convert and make available fading memories that will provide a fertile collective context for present and future cyberspace navigators and storytellers.

Landing #1

Parish Square | 16 June 2018

Our first show was in Mellieħa, featuring a performance of Kapsula Merill, followed by an audiovisual installation created by Jimmy Grima and Timothy Garrett, in collaboration with Solar Cinema.

Recalling collage by Jimmy Grima, sound by Timothy Garrett

Reminiscence collage by Andrej Vujicic, sound by Timothy Garrett

Landing #2
Ċitadella, Gozo

Cathedral Square | 15 September 2018

The second Kapsula Merill landing was performed in front of the Cathedral of the Assumption, Ċitadella, in Victoria, Gozo with a screening of Reminiscence, an audiovisual installation by Andrej Vujicic and Timothy Garrett.

Landing #3
Science in the City, Valletta

Castille Place
29 September 2018

The performance of Kapsula Merill in Castille Square, Valletta, included a workshop and a presentation of our work and research in Malta Cafe Scientifique held at Spazju Kreattiv as part of the Science in the City programme.

Landing #4
Notte Bianca,

St John’s Square
6 October 2018

This performance of Kapsula Merill took place in Republic Street, Valletta, as part of the annual Notte Bianca festival.

Landing #5

Archbishop Square
29 September 2018

The performance of Kapsula Merrill occurred during the opening night of our Emanuel Borg exhibition in the Parish Hall, Kalkara. The audiovisual installation was created by Jimmy Grima, with music by Robert Farrugia.

Revisiting Memories collage by Jimmy Grima, sound by Robert Farrugia

Frekwenza collage by Jimmy Grima

Landing #6

Pjazza San Nikola
13 December 2018

Our final show was in Siġġiewi, featuring a performance of Kapsula Merill, followed by an audiovisual installation created by Jimmy Grima. Original live music using material from the archive was produced by Yasmin Kuymizakis and Jess Rymer.