UrbanIxD Summer School

The Price of Memories

The Price of Memories is part of the Hybrid Citizen series.



This project speculates about a future where it is possible to transplant memories from one person to another. Even though initial scientific research was conducted for the purpose of medical treatment, plenty of market opportunities supported the development of the technology. A marketplace for memories was established, where memories can be bought and implanted into your brain. A person who has more memories and is more experienced has a higher value. As anyone can sell their own memories by uploading them to the marketplace, users are finding ways to sell more. The world is changing at a much faster pace for the sake of supporting the market growth. Rebuild a square or repaint a room and you can make a brand new memory out of it, thus earning more money. Likewise, creating a memory of something, and destroying it to prevent anyone else after you from creating a similar memory, will keep your market price higher. This is creating a new dynamic in the physicality of the world.



In order to get easy money, hackers are creating devices that enable them to create multiple different memories of a single place. These devices are called ‘sense-mixers’ – they are used to alter the sensory experience of a place. However, the memories created under influence of ‘sense-mixers’ do not originate from real-world experiences. People who buy too many artificial memories tend to suffer from a new kind of psychological disorder- they are unable to ‘read’ places and situations through their senses as the sensory stimuli that they receive do not set-off the appropriate connections. New medical institutions are opening to treat patients suffering from sensory processing disorders.