Tag Archives: Geoffrey Batchen

Memory and photography

We tend to think of photographs and memories as synonymous, but most of the better commentators on photography have in fact argued the opposite—that photographs displace, replace, or even destroy memory (that they replace the emotional thrills of involuntary memory with the dull certainties of history). Ordinary people have sought to overcome this dilemma by doing things like adding writing, paint, framing, embroidery, fabric, string, hair, flowers, butterfly wings, or other images to the photographs involved. The photograph becomes something that is touched, whether really or in the imagination of the viewer, and this helps drag its perception into the immediacy of the present. These practices also slow memory down, insisting on a drawn-out, interactive and multi-sensory process of remembrance.

On The History of Photography: A Talk With Geoffrey Batchen

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