Memory Flow & Transience

By | September 23, 2014

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These reflections are from the previous couple of weeks.
The ‘will to archive’ or ‘reason to archive’ creates a fast moving flow that caught my attention in couple of readings:
“The archive fever is the attempt to return to the lived origin, to the everyday experience which are the sources of our distorted and refracted memories whose transience and forgetting makes us uneasy” (Theory, Culture and Society- Derrida)
Then in the Dis/Continuities paper there was a reference to Kittler’s idea of books as discrete media as resident memories with a fixedness about them, while “computers are not in the sense of institution, but rather rhizomes within the net itself.” I think it was a ever tangling about it that makes non-resident memories unstable – in traditional ways – and solid in the new.
“While the stability of memory and tradition was formerly guaranteed by the printed text, dynamic hypertext – the textual form of the internet will return memory to itself into an ephemeral passing drama
This transience afforded by internet does indeed influence how we remember and approach the realm of  memory. I remember I took a philosophy of time class where we talked about the River of Lethe where by drinking from it you will attain forgetfulness. As cultures and societies there is something to be said about forgetting and oblivion and in some of the readings it was mentioned as a gap. There is of course the colonialism aspect of remembering select encounters but there might be an overall -historical dialectic- aspect that if memories were genes and survival of the fittest is law, then we as humanity tend to want to remember the powerful ones. What counts as powerful that is another subject…
I wonder if there are texts/writings regarding Lethe and archiving?

One thought on “Memory Flow & Transience

  1. shannon Post author

    The fact that media now has a new “ontology” — as a flow, rather than a collection of discrete entities — certainly does require that we rethink the archive, and the metaphors through which we conceive of memory.


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