Mia Lancaster Hernandez
May 21, 2023
Explore how Luis Serrano loops memory.
Previously discussed in POV Issue II, pawznet: the movie packed an emotional punch to its audience. Using nods to nostalgic imagery paired with hypnotic construction, this film is capable of propelling the viewer into a time when the Webkinz Youtube market was booming and imagination was unrestrained. After going over a few audience members’ reactions, I was curious about the synthesis and motivations behind the film. Creator Luis Andrés Serrano builds these worlds with the intention of gazing infinitely into these fleeting moments , as if to remember something you thought you lost long ago. Respectively for pawznet: the movie, he draws inspiration from an early Youtube obsession: Webkinz. Reflecting back on the campy drama of these fan-made videos, Luis pays homage to the elaborate plots and absurd dialogue. This genre holds a niche and innocent place on the web and in our hearts, yet, pawznet: the movie evokes an intense sentiment of confusion: like watching a video, but being incapable of consciously achieving any understanding of a plot.
In the catalog of his past work, Serrano has often referenced these portions of his memories in a cryptic and methodical manner. By layering and distorting picture and audio, an abstract style emerges, allowing him to reach the crannies of one’s memory. pawznet: the movie in addition to Spring Soon, another one of his works, was created using a unique system developed by Luis himself: Memory Processing Unit.
Max MSP is an interactive graphic programming language used to experiment with creating brand new sounds and visuals. Through a data-flow system, a user is able to organize effects, combinations and controls to customize a particular piece of media.Memory processing unit, created with Max, functions by inputting clips, then altering them using buttons such as: Calm or Frantic Recall Intensity, LO or HI Attention Span Quality and Thought Weight.
“In short, I add in video clips to the program and the program remixes and rearranges the clips into one live generated output” says Serrano, “My program is built on using recalling memory as an artistic process; it being disorderly, unpredictable and being cohesive yet far from the original source.”
In an effort to process past memories and archives that link to his interests and life, Luis reaches a creation that can encapsulate very earnest and personal moments. Watching these films, the audience can find themselves sinking into the limited pool of clips that infinitely overlap and weave with one another, surfacing every so often to form new meanings and generate synchronicities.
In future projects, Serrano plans on diving deeper into self-reflection and archive reconstruction. From this line of thought, we could see more of a social or collective take on memory in lieu of a personal investigation. As time goes on, the importance of recording moments from a particular and undocumented awareness increases. Preserving, reconstructing and interpreting data is an extremely powerful practice in this day and is a socially responsible action to take. Speculation aside, Luis continues to generate captivating work and has a lot more in the making for us to look forward to.
To stay updated on Luis’ work, you can follow him on instagram at @colranae or find him frequenting the Audiopollination events (@audiopollination648) at 648 Kingsway.