[-empyre-] Memory Errors in theTechnosphere:

John Hopkins jhopkins at neoscenes.net
Wed Nov 14 21:19:06 EST 2007

>Performing mythos in real time... and inspired more by the fact of 
>documentation than by the document itself?  I guess it's open for 
>argument how the increasing ubiquity of the observing lens shapes 
>our behavior.  The presence of a camera at a family holiday might 
>create a frame of reference that connects the collective family 
>experience to a particular kind of visual archive.  Or it could act 
>like a superego, making sure that everyone is on record as enjoying 
>themselves.  Not that these are the only possibilities, of course, 
>but I wonder if these two functions are even separable, or to what 
>extent?  At any rate, I think the (analog) 'camera-ready' events and 
>memories created for a family holiday differ greatly from ephemeral 
>(but potentially retainable) cellphone shots at a party or bar.  In 
>the latter case, taking and viewing a photo marks the event's 
>passage into the interpretive framework of dominant visual culture, 
>but whether or not to 1) circulate an image beyond the immediate 
>gathering or 2) save it as a 'document' would depend on other 
>considerations....Maybe primarily social ones?  What else is going 
>on in the cellphone camera case?

One shouldn't forget that the camera is a mediatory and protective 
device -- separating the photographer from the immediacy of the 
surrounding energies.  There is a separation that occurs when the 
camera is brought to eye (the act of creating external memory removes 
the body from the direct impression of the surrounding energies). 
And when the image is viewed.  The differences in the analog and the 
digital are perhaps only in the temporal separation between taking 
and viewing along with small syntactical differences in the physical 
manifestation of the image-as-object.

Again, to my other post today -- the affect of the making of images 
(and the consequent observation  process) changes the event observed. 
It is only a matter of degree what this affect is, but it is usually 
immediate and very apparent.

As for the artifact, it becomes cultural currency as long as it 
survives in one archive or another through the life-energy input of 
someone or another.  I have a small tintype photo album that I picked 
up in a flea market in the US once.  I had no previous connection 
with the individual who owned it originally.  But now and again I 
look at the images.  This changes everything.

The higher the technology (i.e., the larger the techno-social 
infrastructure necessary to support a particular medium), the more 
life-energy an individual must expend into that techno-social system 
to maintain their participation in and use of that medium.  This is 
maybe the most profound affect of increasingly complex technologies 
of documentation... that we are ever more deeply bound to that 
techno-social system in the fact that we have to give more of our 
life-time-energy into the system in order to participate...  We 
become hyper-socialized and lacking much autonomy.

so it goes.


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