Here is a Prezi to explore my thought process when thinking about disrupting the everyday….
This week we discussed Photographies influence on identity and memory. The first text by Barthes, R. (1984). Part Two. In: Camera Lucida: Reflection on Photography. 2nd ed. London: Fontana. pp63-72. The text follows an individuals intimate journey in revisiting the past whereby the mortality is discussed. The chapter is written in the first person, in a reflective style; the writer discusses the death of a mother, in particular with intention to rediscover her through photography. “I acknowledged that fatality, one of the most agonizing features of mourning, which decreed that however often I might consult such images, I could never recall her features (summon them up as a totality)”. (P63) It is mentioned that the troubled writer initially finds it difficult to find a photograph that truly depicts the mother’s nature, as the text goes on it becomes clear that the writer has used photographs in an attempt to deal with the grief and mourning of her death, but describing frequently that the photos rarely depicted the mother as remembered; raising the question of photographies influence on the memory but also how photos are depicted as authentic. “For a moment it was quite physical luminosity, the photographic trace of colour, the blue-green of her pupils . But this light was already a kind of mediation which led me toward an essential identity, the genius of the beloved face.” (p66)
This raised further importance if we consider photography as a changing medium, nowadays images are digitised and endlessly copied meaning that photos have become devalued, I believe we have grown distant from photos as technology has advanced, we place far more emphasis on old photographs depicting the past than the ones captured and shared effortlessly on a smartphone. I believe that as humans, we initially developed a strong emotional attachment to photos because they represented as static image free from ageing or loss (unlike memory), presenting a physical, hard copy of the past. However now images mostly consist of computer algorithms, we are no longer presented with a hard copy; increasingly now consumed through screens thus distancing and devaluating photography. We have strong attachments to photographs because they preserve and enhance our memories of past experiences and in some cases even manipulate our recollection. The text as a whole made vivid the connect we have established between photography and intimate connections with the mind.
The second text discussed “Sturken, Marita. (1997). Camera Images and National Meanings. In: Tangled Memories: The Veitnam War, The AIDS Epidemic, and the Politics of Remembering. Berkley: University of California Press. pp 19-33” Similar to the first text, linking photography and memory but in this case exploring the topic of national tragedies and the creation of national memories. “…artifacts operate to prompt remembrance, they are often perceived actually to contain memory within them or indeed to be synonymous with memory.” (p19). Making acknowledgment to the phenomenon “Flashbulb memories” whereby a vivid memory is created and retained for a lifetime; usually associated with a national or historical event. The texts outlines various different national incidents and flashbulb memories. The JFK shooting, in particular the Zapruder film, home video amateur footage not originally release to the public although people recall the incident as being shown on live TV when this was not the case; evidence of photographic / moving images manipulation on memory. The text connects an invisible nation / imagined community whereby we are all connected through our own experiences of national events. Generally outlining the issue of misinterpretation and deception, both photography and moving images cannot always be taken as completely ‘truthful’ sometimes implemented to intentionally deceive or at other time through fault of misinterpretation.
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