Mark Polishook & Lisa Hutton | Revisiting September 11, 19[72]

September 11-November 29, 2002

To explore how the events of September 11, 2001 have transformed social memory, composer Mark Polishook and new media artist Lisa Hutton compiled a database of animation and sound that features images from 1972 and excerpts from National Public Radio coverage from September 11, 2001.  Polishook and Hutton edited and processed their materials significantly, and arranged and projected them in the installation with immersive sound and video so that New Media Gallery visitors would not just be perusing a collection of archival clips. Rather, the installation amplifies and recasts the source materials to interpret them and bring out nuances that might not otherwise exist.

The artists view 1972, with fashions such as platform shoes and bellbottom trousers, the debut of the popular TV show All in the Family, press coverage of a meeting between President Richard Nixon and Elvis, and traumas that include the Vietnam War and the terrorism of the Munich Olympics, as a time of contradiction. It is a period removed enough from the present such that it stands apart with its own issues and concerns. Unfortunately, it is precisely the contradictions and subtleties, the nuances, of such times that are lost in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

By connecting the seemingly mundane year of 1972 to the present day, Polishook and Hutton suggest that trauma dissolves memory by reshaping our understanding of what is and what was.  Memory and perception, as experienced in their work, is fleeting and ephemeral – paradoxically present and absent. The installation thus marks the events of September 11 by examining and placing them in the larger context of the past.


Mark Polishook leaning over and reaching into a grand piano.

Mark Polishook

Mark Polishook directed the music composition and theory programs at Central Washington University. He’s been a professor of jazz piano at the University of Maine at Augusta and a…

Portrait of Lisa Hutton

Lisa Hutton

Lisa Hutton is a media artist working primarily in digital imaging,, sound, and text. Hutton uses the internet as a venue for low-technology interventions which critique assumptions…