[-empyre-] November 2007 on -empyre- : Memory Errors in real life: The Town of Caroline, New York State

rtf9 at cornell.edu rtf9 at cornell.edu
Mon Nov 12 08:29:56 EST 2007

Norie and Maria, 
Many thanks for doing such an amazing job as moderators this week. 
I've been lurking in on all of your fascinating conversations this 
week because I have been away from my machine for a good deal of time 
involved in a political "memory-error" of sorts.  Our local town 
election has come down to a town board race with a vote differential 
of one vote.  So accompanied by an attorney, my job, as the 
Democratic representative was to examine all of the absentee ballots 
of registered voters who are out of town as well as affidavit 
ballots. These affidavits belong to voters whose names were missing 
from a brand new database program implemented by the Board of 
Elections within the last few months. My seventy-five year old 
neighbor, a resident all of his life, went to the polls only to find 
his name eliminated. 

My neighbor was one of the lucky voters whose ballot was properly 
dated signed and witnessed by the Election's Inspector.    For 
approximately thirteen voters there were inconsistencies in the 
signatures or dates causing those ballots to not be counted at this 
point in time.

It will take another week and perhaps a State Supreme Court Judge to 
determine who the final winner will be in this Town Race.  I realized 
that this election process could come down not to the will of the 
people but memory error both digital and analog.

In your discussions of family memory and media I was reminded of an 
older piece of mine, "Screen Memory"  <www.renateferro.net> inspired 
by Freud's writing on the subject.  The basis of the piece is footage 
shot in the late 1950's that my father took of our very young family. 
In the process of manipulating the super 8 footage as I digitized and 
edited the reels,  I re-imagined very deep and forgotten memories of 
my early childhood as a four or five year old. I remember thinking 
how memory seemed to be like that of  the digitization process of the 
celluloid  film material and the cutting and pasting of digitized 

Thanks again to both of you. 


Renate Ferro
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art
Cornell University
Department of Art, Tjaden Hall
<rtf9 at cornell.edu>

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