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Practical enquiry

Tuesday 14th July

After meeting with my supervisor yesterday I am concentrating again on my proposal…..

Working title

The dissolution of now, wilting into then

What is being explored

  • This enquiry is based upon the fading of an experience as it is consigned to memory.

  • It will also explore nostalgia as both a construct with biographical meaning and a channel for romanticism.

The enquiry will include deeper analysis of statements such as, The state of not knowing is a valuable one. [1] and An absence of meaning opens up a rift in time [2]

The outcomes will determine the final title of the works.

14th July …….

The fading of an experience as it is consigned to memory

In his chapter "Narrative, Memory, and Slavery," W.J.T. Mitchell problematizes the notion of memory as a direct representation of the past. He argues …

"representation... not only 'mediates' our knowledge...but obstructs, fragments, and negates that knowledge...(memory) provide(s) something more like a site of cultural labor, a body of textual formations that has to be worked through interminably" [4] .

For Mitchell, memory is not interesting for what it tells us, but rather what it hides from us. Calling memory a "medium", he posits it as a process of meaning creation that is both selective and akin to a façade [3]

For my own enquiry I wish to represent the way in which memory distorts and breaks down the original experience …what Mitchell describes as obstructing, fragmenting and negating our knowledge of what actually occurred.

Fragmenting a photograph and installing it so that some parts are clear and others almost not there is something I am considering.

I am currently considering ways to use lighting to illustrate the changes in clarity and the fading of memory.

I am not experienced in film-making or technical lighting. I am, however, proficient in presentation techniques. Tomorrow I will begin working with projectors.

In ‘History, Memory, and Forgetting in Nietzsche and Derrida’, Michael Marder states ….

Neitzsche and Derrida highlight a rupture understood as a condition of possibility for the emergence of historical sense.

Nietzsche argues that this rupture crystallizes in the first memory of a moment that belongs to the past and

in everything that issues from it, including the comparison of the past and the present as the foundation of cognitive comparison, the unhappy consciousness of the irreversibility of the past that bothers the no-longer-indifferent memory with experiential indigestion, and antiquarian history as the documentary signification of this indigestion.

In Derrida’s theoretical account, the rupture coincides with the suppression and assimilation of absolute difference underneath and within the homogenizing time-space of history that domesticates the alterity it encounters on its path.

Disparate theoretical points of departure notwithstanding, Nietzsche and Derrida envision existence “before” history as the complete absorption in the moment, be it outside of time, or inside the unique temporality of différance.

[1] Lee, R. speaking at Arts re Search Conference, Oxford Brookes University, 7th June 2015

[2] ibid

[3] Lara Kelland Winter 2002

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