Planning of "Pockets Full of Memories" (PFOM) began in the spring of 1999 as a result of a meeting with Boris Tissot, exhibition coordinator from the Centre Pompidou, who was interested in an exhibition that would integrate issues related to the intersections of memory, the archive, digital technology and the general public. A collaboration was developed with Dr. Timo Honkela from the Media Lab, University of Art and Design in Helsinki through CIRCUS (Content Integrated Research in Creative User Systems), a research and development project funded by the European Union under the Esprit program. Timo Koskenniemi from UIAH Media Lab contributed the implementation of the Self-Organizing Map algorithm. Kohonen's algorithm applied in a manner outlined earlier in Honkela's research (Honkela 1997) became a key conceptual framework for the PFOM project.
Production began in the summer of 2000, following funding by a Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science & Technology grant and continued until the opening of the exhibition in April 2001. In addition to the contribution by the UIAH Media Lab team (Prof. Timo Honkela, Timo Koskenniemi and Petri Saarikko), an international team of specialists realized various components of the project. Marton Fernezelyi and Zoltan Szegedy-Maszák, from the C3 Center for Culture and Communication in Budapest designed and constructed the scanning station unit consisting of a touchscreen interactive software, an image digitizing system with image processing software, the database and networks software and the interactive station structure itself. The exhibition's visual identity, which included the exhibition design, scanning station designs, interface design for the questionnaire and website, was produced in Stuttgart by the Projekttriangle design team consisting of Danijela Djokic, Martin Grothmaak, and Jürgen Späth. The internet site providing access to the database and SOM algorithm was developed by Andreas Engberg at the CREATE Research Lab University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Brigitte Steinheider from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering in Stuttgart contributed with the development of the data description questionnaire and analyzed the data of the archive from a social science perspective. In addition to this work that examines the cultural and social nature of the collected information, she is also studying the complexity and impact of multinational and multidisciplinary teamwork practice in the production of the PFOM project.
The first prototype of "Pockets Full of Memories" was shown and beta tested at the ISEA (Inter-Society for electronic Art) in Paris in 2000. The installation with the accompanying Web site premiered at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 2001. It was featured 2003 at the DEAF Festival in Rotterdam, Ars Electronica in Linz, the "Aura" exhibition in Budapest and 2004 at the Kiasma Museum in Helsinki.
- Legrady, George: "Intersecting the Virtual and the Real: Space in Interactive Media Installations." In: T. Murray, (Hrsg.): Digitality and the Memory of Cinema, Wide Angle, Vol 21, No.1, Ohio University School of Film, 2000, S.104-113.
- Steinheider, Brigitte und George Legrady: "Realizing a Digital Media Installation: Problems and Synergetic effects of an Interdisciplinary Collaboration." In: Proceedings of MTAC 2001, Multimedia technology and applications, UC Irvine 2001, S. 255-260.
- Kohonen, Teuvo: "Self-Organizing Maps." Springer Series in Information Sciences, Vol. 30, 1995.
- Honkela, Timo: "Learning to Understand - General Aspects of Using Self-Organizing Maps in Natural Language Processing." In: D. Dubois (Hrsg.): "Proceedings of the CASYS'97, Computing Anticipatory Systems", American Institute of Physics, Woodbury, New York, 1997, S. 563-576.