My mom with no belly and a little new born sister.
The oldest aural memory I can remember brings me back to the sound of the small planes that took off from the airfield in my hometown. My first visual memory is walking hand in hand with my mother and my grandmother beside the railway tracks of the old train station in Osorno. It was a bright, sunny summer's day and the sky was really blue.
I was about 1 year old so this is a very early memory. I was looking out of my cot at night and noticed a fascinating light in the darkness. It was reddish blending with blue. I couldn’t figure out what it was and felt a bit scared but at the same time mesmerised and curious. Slowly I figured out it was a radio and the light was indicator showing the frequency.
A signal like a pulsating murmur and a distant dazzling white in the dark.
Benna Gaean Maris
Waking up to the sounds of Buddhist monks at the nearby temple by my grandparents house in Bang Ka, Thailand.
Jonathan Onsuwan Johnson
Apparently these are quite old memories. Memory is too vague in early childhood and clearer in my twenties. Then I joined the visual figurative thinking.
Oleg Kharch Group
My first visual memory is running around in the back of a van that was sitting at the side of a used car lot. I was around 2 years old. My parents recently had their third child, my younger sister, and they were looking for a bigger mode of transport. The van didn’t have any seats, so I remember running around in what was for me a ‘huge’ space. This is a vivid memory that I have carried my entire life. It has no real significance for me, but it might be the reason I have a very daggy interest in vans. I can even admit that I once owned a very uncool ‘Mini Van Mega Fun’ T-Shirt.
My first visual and aural memory is of water. That wet slapping sound when your hands first crash down in the water when splashing around, and the eventual perplonk sound of skipping stones. I was born off Lake Huron. My earliest memories are of lapping water and multi-colored stones along the shore.
Ecco/Aquí [Nancy Y. Kim]
I grew up in North Adams, Massachusetts in the final years Sprague Electric operated in the mill complex that is now Mass MoCA. I have a hazy memory of a blaring factory whistle that Sprague sounded daily which was loud enough to hear all over town.
Ecco / Aquí [Sarah Crofts]
My first visual memory is from when I was four years old. I rolled off the edge of my bed in the middle of the night and banged my head on the metal bed frame. I remember getting stitches and the nurse making a glove into a makeshift balloon.
I'm pretty sure it was riding the mechanical pony at the grocery store. I can picture the pony clearly in my head, and I remember the sound of the penny going into the slot, the soda machine, and the cash registers nearby.
While sleeping, waking up and then being lifted out of my bed at 5 years old by an apparition.
Being thrown in the Mokelumne river of Northern California Sierra wilderness by my father teaching me to swim age 3. The blinding, glittering crystal water, the crazy loud bird song, the wild currents, the snow-pack cold. I woke to life.
My first visual aural memory is the image of cats. I remember very very small, like 1 year something, I was enchanted by my grandparents' cats, and I can remember how I used to think of them as something so amazing, even if I couldn't, of course, put in these words as a very small child.
I can't remember my childhood, but the first sound I felt was the sound of a small trumpet.The wind blows from back to front,The paper airplane I threw was floating in the sky.The paper airplane looked huge and didn't look heavy at all.
When I was about 5, I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound and sight of the test screen pattern on our new black and white television.
A song my mother has sung to me.
Me looping Disney’s VHS as a child (in particular Pinocchio, The Lion King and Alice in Wonderland)
I don't know if this is a memory, or an inference, but I have a photo of myself holding my infant brother. I could only have been 3-4 years old. I (think I) remember a bright light and the feeling of the chair.
I have a pretty terrible memory, so the earliest memory I can think of is from when I was maybe 4 or 5, and looking up at what I thought was a towering lighthouse that was part of an indoor "playground" of sorts in a library. Ironically, when I was 22, I revisited the lighthouse and discovered that what I recalled being a 15 or 20 foot model was in fact shorter than me, perhaps 5 feet at most.
It is certainly linked to plants. I remember my mom wearing a light green dress with Ivy leaves (Hedera Helix) printed on it while walking around the house with her hair in a ponytail.
My first visual memory is of my early childhood in my maternal grandparents' backyard. As a curious toddler, I frequented this area, eagerly inhaling the scent of the jasmine flowers that I had picked out near the iron staircase. I also recall tasting their nectars out of their stems. It was the taste of sweet water that I remember so fondly; so vividly.
Zain Al Sharaf Wahbeh
Some time ago I had a contact with a moment of life belonging to my childhood, when you are in the stroller and your mother takes you around. The din of the sun radiating from my face came to me like sound moment. Since that day I have replaced the alarm clock with sunlight.
Before starting my career in Visual Arts, I studied Musicology. I composed a tutored theory Theory of Color - Sound, where I united the two things. I think that each one complements the other, and although from the point of view of physics they are different universes, I think that art can unite them.
Certainly some sights and sounds from my childhood little league baseball fields come to mind... The distant aluminum tink of the bat on ball, or the leather clap of the ball entering a mitt… The grass in the long afternoon shadows of the tessellated chain link…
My first aural memory is when I was about six years old and had a tiny styrofoam ball lodged in my ear canal. I remember the amplified sound of the doctor having a look around in my ear and taking it out. The procedure was painless, and to this day, I've yet to know how that got in there.
My earliest auditory memory was the sea. I lived in Puglia, in southern Italy, and when I think of a perfect sound that binds me to the good times I think of the waves crashing on the shore.
Somewhere between Paul Simon’s The Rhythm of the Saints, U2’s Achtung Baby, and Eric Clapton’s Unplugged I’m watching the geometric patterns of our living room carpet whirl as I dance in our house trailer in Fort Nelson, BC.
I remember lying awake in my bed at night as a child and seeing little floating spots of color above my bed. I was convinced I was seeing little creatures dancing around in the air.
I find it difficult to visualise a clear first memory. I have vague, fragmented, ambiguous memories of my early years in Cape Town.
When I was 2 years old, one summer afternoon I was crossing the river in my hometown with my mother and my brother. I remember stopping and just watching them from a contre-plongée angle as they were departing holding their shoes in their hands. They were going against the light and the water seemed to tickle their movement. The image I remember has a very warm yellow filter and the water, as clear as the sky, was gently sparkling in the sunlight.
Sunlight shimmering on ocean water while my orange ice block melted.
When I was baby, in the dark room I saw the light from the gap of the curtains.
Sound of a train. And the train's passengers' faces through one of windows in my parent's house in Tokyo.
Tchaikovsky's Peter and the Wolf conducted by Leonard Bernstein at Lincoln Center for his series, The Young People's Concerts.
My first aural memory is hearing Bowie's 'The Man Who Sold The World' on my fathers record player. My first visual memory was watching cartoons in the kitchen of my parents house.
A neighbor was looking after me while my parents were away and they couldn't get our large, cathode ray tube TV to display a proper image; only static appeared. I was sitting on the sofa watching them struggle with the settings, and I clearly recall the sound of the television static.
One of my earliest aural memories was trying to make sound out of a Turkish clay whistle with double holes. I was a very little baby that when I realized that I was blowing into the wrong end all along, it felt like the biggest discovery and the most fascinating sound ever on earth. I still remember the sound, smell, taste, and round, cold, and harsh surface of the clay vividly.
I remember being on the snow for the first time and being carried around on a sled. Suddenly the sled turns and I fall with my hands on the snow. I started to laugh but as soon as I saw that there was a tiny speck of blood on my hand, I started bawling.
My first visual memory was of my baptism, I was only a few months old and I remember people sitting in a semicircle, there were several children in party clothes.
I really have a bad memory and this is not so clear to me. But the first image that pops into my head is a window in my childhood room that was facing a jasmine plant, which due to its flowers was visited by hummingbirds in the morning.
When I was really small my night light in my bedroom was the most important thing in the world, chasing away the monsters and the pitch-black once my parents said goodnight in a deep-orange, Barry Lyndon-ish flickering glow. It was a small clear bulb covered by something reddish and nubbly and seamed-together; I thought it was made of rock or bones or that aliens made it or something. I only figured out a few years ago that it was a sea urchin shell.
It was an outdoor table at my Grandfather's house. I was walking from my mom to my Great Grandfather. I must have been around 3 or 4. I was wearing one of those solid color sleeved t-shirts they had in the 80’s. I remember the sound of a party and paper plates filled with tortillas and some kind of meat I can't remember.
I always remember dazzling sunlight penetrating my eyes and someone was dragging me to pee. I think this is the first memory when I opened my eyes in my life.
My oldest visual/auditory memory (when I was a little kid) is the moment when I got lost at the baseball stadium in the city where I grew up. I was so scared at the time that the surroundings including the sound/image of the crowd and the stadium resonated intensely.
The point of view, looking at a garden from the inside of a card box.
My first truly intense aural/visual memory is about birds but has nothing at all to do with the great outdoors, yet it did influence my future artistic output. When I was six years old and home sick from school, I watched Alfred Hitchcock's film 'The Birds,' alone. It was terrifyingly traumatic and seemed more so to watching it by myself, but I would not turn it off. Today, it is still one of my favorite films.
I grew up near the sea when I was young. Perhaps some of my earliest auditory and visual memories are memories of nature. It was the image and sound of the hot sun and summer, the sea and rippling waves, the pure white sandy beach, and the pine forest swaying in the gentle breeze of the beach.
My childhood memory is practically non-existent, but I would say that the sounds and sights of being underwater in a California pool and the Pacific ocean are formative for me.
Tree leafs, cherry blossoms fully flourished and sunshine.
My work on schizophrenia.. Dance film on the background of the scenery, the body on the front of the scenery and music of the film create a psychological violence and sense of fear is formed by this violence. Art reflects fear of death. This work (schizophrenia) defines the fear of death.
A musical bumble bee crib mobile
My first visual and aural memory is to listen to Beatles LPs while lying down on a green hammock.
I was a very active crawler when I was very little. My mother often tells me she could never keep track of me, so she got one of those spaceship-looking baby walkers to slow me down. In my most productive crawling days, I spent a lot of time inspecting where walls intersect with floors, so a lot of my very early memories are of floor and wall colors, patterns, and textures.
Memory flashbacks and hyperthreading sequence of events is what inspired me trying recollect the actual memory.
Whispering voice of my mother singing folk songs to my ear.
The first auditory memory is the "White Album" by the Beatles that my older brother played on repeat, I also particularly remember when I discovered Camille St Saëns' "Carnival of the Animals" in kindergarten as part of the musical awakening to children.
I remember the sight of a woman's face in a mall in Buenos Aires. I was in a stroller and part of my view was covered by the hood, there was a woman who kept on eyeing me and briefly stopped my mother, then stopped and addressed me.
Jonathan Seungjoon Lee
One of my most vivid early visual memories is the lights on my Christmas tree when I was younger. Specifically the multicoloured ones. I remember the way that they blurred when I was tired and this created that kind of infinite bokeh effect.
The screech and slap of the screen door at my grandmother’s house opening and closing in the summertime.
Mariah Anne Johnson
That is not an easy question!...I am not sure. I was very attracted to shiny elements, so I think maybe was some reflections in a glass mobile hang from the ceiling over the cradle.
Eating snow in Berlin as the flakes came down and pelted the window pane.
Lorin Chow Roser
Something around my old home that I lived in before 7 years old. Everything happened around the red coriaceous couch in the living room.
I must have been 4 or 5 years old but I remember being at a friend's house where one of the older siblings thought it was a good idea to watch Chucky (Childs Play 2) in the family room while my friend and I were playing with cars. It was both terrifying and enthralling and absolutely unforgettable.
alejandro t. acierto
My second birthday at a fancy restaurant (Tavern on the Green!). I was given a balloon, which for some reason was neither tied to my wrist nor my highchair, so naturally it floated up and away into the rafters. I remember being utterly perplexed as to why adults—who normally took care of everything—were unable to retrieve it on demand. (Heights were something I hadn't quite contended with, so the necessity of a ladder was literally beyond me.) Frustration, powerlessness, smallness, befuddlement... Annoying emotions at the time, but the vividness of the memory is very funny to me in hindsight.
I remember sleeping in a very small crib with a wooden railing, and I couldn't open my eyes one morning. It's like they're stuck together. It was creepy. I often bled from my nose. Apparently, it dried on my eyelashes overnight.
A new 5-storey concrete house standing in the desert, after which only the desert. We got an apartment in it, in Ashgabat
At 18 months old I was in my sandbox and the family dog Timmy, was sitting with me. He was huge to me then and I recall his panting with his mouth open and tongue hanging out. His breathing was a lot louder than mine.
The sound of water gently splashing against a boat or gurgling as the boat takes speed and glides smoothly over the lake is certainly a sound that has deeply marked me. Many years later in life, I encountered this bubbly sound once more, recognized it as it melted with my childhood memories. Water has often taken a big part in my video work. The forest behind our house was very present and part of my young life. The beech trees rose high up into the sky with their protective arms above us. At moments, this was a mystic place, other times simply a wonderful, fun place to spend the afternoon freely. This forest became my ‘home’ and, years later, I returned to it again and again for video or photo projects.
Indistinct sounds (like a sound mass) and diffuse visions (somewhat surreal). The surreal remained and still remains - in visual and sound references. Another mask for the real.
My first acoustic memory is rain. Rain that starts like flying spider webs and splits the air and turns into slow heavy drops into pattering raindrops that hurt on the skin. Cool and wet until the sun returns.
My first aural/visual memory is in a crib in a warm and pleasant environment where a wooden frame window close by was open to daylight. The sounds of yard animals and the wind rushing the leaves on the ground and in the trees entered and lingered.
Probably my first visual memories come from screens, as televisions and video toys were common all around the houses I grew up in, and children's books were found all across my bedroom shelves. Since I was very young, I remember watching animation with bold colors and frenetic instrumental music, re-watching them non-stop. I can see how these early images still affect the way I create for video, in the way that I use frenetic collage as a process.
In my parents garden kicking a football against the wall!
Moving-image: seeing Star Wars: A New Hope at the cinema. The opening music and first shot instantly enthralled me.
Interesting question, and difficult; sometimes one’s memories are built on stories told rather than remembered first hand experiences.
i’d like to be able to recall exactly.
I grew up in Vancouver and spent a lot of time around the ocean. One memory that has stayed with me the most is from early mornings on the boat waking up rocking in the waves, hearing the sounds of the water all around and looking through the damp fogged plastic windows of the boat cover out to the islands surrounding us.
I was three years old, and I was sitting on a bench in my school’s playground. I turned around and saw a small bug on top of a pine tree, for some reason, I though it was a small piece of rope. I grabbed it, and for my suspire, I realised it wasn’t. An hour later, I was on the hospital, full of red spots and scratching every inch of my body. Funnily enough my biggest concern was that that day they were serving my favourite soup and I was missing it.
The first thing that comes to mind is hearing the neighbour’s kids playing in their backyard and running over to the fence to look through a knothole. As a child I loved getting a singular and focused view of something. I love how sound can transcend physical barriers.
My parents had a small farm and in winter the animals were inside in the stable that adjoined me and my brothers' bedroom. In bed before falling asleep you would hear them lying down or standing up, moving the chains with which they were fastened up and down and sometimes you would hear them blowing out their breath like a sigh..
My grandma used to cook pan fried fish for family gatherings, which also brought in stray cats. After dinner, I opened the door, and saw several pairs of beaming eyes reflected in the dark courtyard. The tension between my surprise and their silence was strikingly memorable.
Sae Yong Lee
That's probably the Pierrot painting my grandfather did. The painting shows a Pierrot gently holding a pigeon. My grandfather made a beautifully illustrated diary of the first year of my life, in which he describes the following: "If you walk through the room on my arm past the paintings you look at them attentively, but with the white Pierrot you get into a light affect, utters surprised cries and moves violently up and down."
I think I can say with quite some conviction that this could have been the first moment when an image touched me, and at the same time has been stored as a valuable memory.
My first aural/visual memory was when I performed in nature. The movement of my body in the landscape and the sound created through the movement gave me a sense of belonging to nature.
I couldn't say exactly what the very first one was... but thinking back spontaneously I can say that the sound of the bombing during the Iran/iraq war near our house was definitely striking
Surprisingly, my first aural and visual memories were during my mom’s pregnancy. Through the shots of abstract visuals, I felt as if I was part of the coral ocean and all my senses were growing. I viewed the glimpse of visuals based on the bumpy sound I heard, but the conscious state disappeared when I came out of the world.
My first visual memory is watching the fireworks from my roof on the 4th of July. I grew up on the crest of a mountain, overlooking the valley where my entire life took place. My parents would point to fireworks from each direction, “There, that’s where you will go to school someday,” or “There, those ones are from Disneyland”. It felt like we could see the whole world.
My first memory is seeing my mother from my crib when I was almost three years old.
Being under water
I can’t recall my first aural/visual memory, but the strongest visual memory from my childhood that I remember is the picture of the sun in the solar system projected on a huge screen accompanied by a group of musicians playing a classical piece.
This is not my first, but certainly my most distinct: laying in my childhood bed and listening to the ringing in my ears — an early symptom of Menière’s disease, a condition that has shaped my aural landscape for my whole life. At the time, however, I neither knew what was happening nor felt particularly threatened by it; I just lay there and listened to the rising and falling tones.
Magazinist [Andy Zuliani]
My first visual and aural memories is holding a rock over my head (which seemed big at the time. I was two.) I was told not to throw the rock. I threw the rock against other rocks and remember the cracking sound rock makes when hitting other rocks.
The one I remembered the clearest was the 5-year-old me trying to give my pet fish a bath but it ended up flipping on the floor with me crying on the side.
Being in a paddling pool at my parents first house, which is now demolished. Summer early 1960s in Cambridge. Several of my childhood localities are demolished , which is possibly a work in the making.