adding page this day –
Love this… https://t.co/VBwrPH6nvN
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/MaryAnnReilly/status/805065165096058880
“To quote out of context is the essence of the photographer’s craft” –
and via Maria:
hold still – sally mann
The question — and what a Borgesian question — remains whether one should prefer having such a prosthetic memory, constructed entirely of photographs stitched together into artificial cohesion, to having no memory at al
or perhaps.. we try hosting-life-bits.. hoping.. that it captures as much as possible.. w/o.. as noted later.. perpetuating/encouraging us to forget more
In distorting the information it’s supposed to be keeping safe, the brain, to its credit, will often bow to some instinctive aesthetic wisdom, imparting to our life’s events a coherence, logic, and symbolic elegance that’s not present or not so obvious in the improbable, disheveled sloppiness of what we’ve actually been through
Photography would seem to preserve our past and make it invulnerable to the distortions of repeated memorial superimpositions, but I think that is a fallacy: photographs supplant and corrupt the past, all the while creating their own memories. As I held my childhood pictures in my hands, in the tenderness of my “remembering,” I also knew that with each photograph I was forgetting.
is soft bowl in the grasses, this body-formed evidence of hare, has a name, an obsolete but beautiful word: meuse. (Enticingly close to Muse, daughter of Memory, and source of inspiration.) Each of us leaves evidence on the earth that in various ways bears our form.
Over and over, Mann returns with palpable unease to the parasitic relationship between photography and memory, culminating in this unadorned indictment:
I believe that photographs actually rob all of us of our memory.
More than that, photographs disquiet our already unnerving relationship with time — a relationship which Borges, the poet laureate of memory’s perplexities, captured with memorable brilliance. Mann writes:
Photographs *economize the truth; they are always moments more or less illusorily abducted from time’s continuum.
*economize: spend less.. reduce one’s expenses
Susan Sontag admonished against the “aesthetic consumerism” of photography, Mann invites us to confront these commodifications of memory that we have come to take for granted:
Before the invention of photography, significant moments in the flow of our lives would be like rocks placed in a stream: impediments that demonstrated but didn’t diminish the volume of the flow and around which accrued the debris of memory, rich in sight, smell, taste, and sound. No snapshot can do what the attractive mnemonic impediment can: when we outsource that work to the camera, our ability to remember is diminished and what memories we have are impoverished.
h u g e
Contemplating mortality, that ultimate end-point of memory, Mann writes in a Whitman-like meditation on the ever-elusive locus of the self:
Where does the self actually go? All the accumulation of memory — the mist rising from the river and the birth of children and the flying tails of the Arabians in the field — and all the arcane formulas, the passwords, the poultice recipes, the Latin names of trees, the location of the safe deposit key, the complex skills to repair and build and grow and harvest — when someone dies, where does it all go?
In a sentiment evocative of Meghan O’Rourke’s beautiful assertion that “the people we most love do become a physical part of us, ingrained in our synapses, in the pathways where memories are created,” Mann adds:
Proust has his answer, and it’s the one I take most comfort in — it ultimately resides in the loving and in the making and in the living of every present day.
again.. rooting for hosting-life-bitsness via self-talk as data.. a means to document (almost) everything (not for validation or measurement.. only for use in connections to self and others).. while living (not missing) .. rev of everyday life ness..
LSE Impact Blog (@LSEImpactBlog) tweeted at 5:00 AM – 6 Dec 2016 :
“Simplification, trivialization and even distortion are the accusations regularly levied against science on screen.” https://t.co/ubNoPcmQKk (http://twitter.com/LSEImpactBlog/status/806106148583735296?s=17)
Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) tweeted at 5:06 AM – 5 Dec 2016 :
Twitter breeds group-think for many reasons: a big one is “concision” factor Chomsky applied to TV: way worse here https://t.co/KURvozslqF (http://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/805745248236400640?s=17)
Noam Chomsky on Concision in the US Media
the beauty of concision.. is that you can then only repeat conventional thoughts..
suppose you don’t say something that is just regurgitating conventional pieties.. suppose you say something that is the least bit unexpected or controversial… people will quite reasonably expect to know what you mean.. why did you say that.. i never heard that before.. if you said that.. better have a reason/evidence… you can’t give evidence..*if you’re stuck with concision.. that’s the genius of this structural constraint
not to mention if there is no evidence.. which i’m questioning if there ever is .. of anything.. ie: so much of our ‘data’ is not us.. science of people ness
I made myself regard each photograph as something unique, a vital integer in the stream of these people’s refusal to be reduced.
both sides now.. of photograph ness
from Shoshana Zuboff‘s age of surveillance capitalism:
susan sontag: ‘to photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed. it means putting oneself into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge – and, therefore, like power
from Sarah Manguso’s ongoingness:
When I was twelve I realized that photographs were ruining my memory. I’d study the photos from an event and gradually forget everything that had happened between the shutter openings. I couldn’t tolerate so much lost memory, and I didn’t want to spectate my life through a viewfinder, so I stopped taking photographs. All the snapshots of my life for the next twenty years were shot by someone else. There aren’t many, but there are enough.