Exhibition artwork detail.
University Art Gallery
San Diego, CA 92182
Contact Us
Gallery Hours
Monday through Thursday and Saturday
Noon to 4:00 PM
Exhibition Options


Deborah Aschheim: feeling-of-knowing

20 September through 3 December 2011


  • Deborah Aschheim with Lisa Mezzacappa

Special Events

Exhibition Tour with Deborah Aschheim and Lisa Mezzacappa

Friday, 23 September
6:00 to 7:00 PM
University Art Gallery

Reception for Deborah Aschheim and Lisa Mezzacappa

Friday, 23 September
7:00 to 8:30 PM
University Art Gallery

Lecture by Deborah Aschheim

Wednesday, 9 November
7:00 PM
North Art 412

Memory and Place

An interdisciplinary symposium with presentations and discussion by the following panelists:

  • Deborah Aschheim, artist, Pasadena, California
  • Fernando Bosco, Department of Geography, San Diego State University
  • Lisa Mezzacappa, musician and composer, San Francisco
  • Indre Viskontas, neuroscientist and opera singer, San Francisco

Saturday, November 19, 2011
4:00 PM
Nasatir Hall 100
North Art 412

Reception for Memory and Place Panelists

Saturday, 19 November, 2011
5:30 to 7:00 PM
University Art Gallery

About the Exhibition

Deborah Aschheim: feeling-of-knowing features sculptures, drawings and sculptural installations that incorporate video and sound, the latter produced in collaboration with musician and composer Lisa Mezzacappa. Since 2007, Aschheim has explored aspects of personal and collective memory, including how memories are formed, how they change over time, how they can be forgotten, and how they might be preserved. The artist is interested in both a subjective and a scientific understanding of memory, and has titled the exhibition with a poetic phrase that is, in actuality, a clinical term borrowed from memory studies. "Feeling-of-knowing" refers to the sensation that occurs when we feel that we know something about a particular subject, but that knowledge, which we believe exists within our memory, is just beyond our immediate grasp. In other words, we might not know the answer to a question at the moment we are asked, but we feel that the answer is stored within our memory, waiting to be accessed and recalled.

Aschheim's scientific and aesthetic investigations on memory have been pursued in three major bodies of work, On Memory, Earworms and Nostalgia for the Future. On Memory focuses on visualizing the memory process and mapping neural networks. Part experimental psychology and part personal narrative, the sculptural installations of On Memory take the form of large, glowing webs that relate to memory's fragile, intimate connections and create the support structure for small video monitors that display the artist's childhood home movies. Earworms, in collaboration with Mezzacappa, comprises sculptural "instruments" built to play recorded songs that were written to "back up" the artist's memory for language, and specifically for a selection of her favorite words. Each elaborate construction continuously plays one song, inspired by one word, over and over again, as it burns an indelible path into one's memory. Nostalgia for the Future addresses memory and place, and the haunting of the present by the misremembered future. The sculptures and drawings are driven by the unexpected poignancy of endangered modernist buildings and the failed utopia that they evoke. Selections from each of these three series will be represented in the exhibition, including several new drawings from the ongoing Nostalgia for the Future project.

Deborah Aschheim: feeling-of-knowing and Memory and Place are organized and curated by Tina Yapelli, director of the University Art Gallery at San Diego State University, in collaboration with Deborah Aschheim. The exhibition and symposium are sponsored by the School of Art, Design and Art History; the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts; and the fund for Instructionally Related Activities. Additional support is provided by the San Diego State University Art Council. Technical assistance is made possible by Joseph Waters, School of Music and Dance, San Diego State University. Deborah Aschheim is represented by Edward Cella Art + Architecture, Los Angeles.


View all exhibitions