Memory

Photography & Memory?

A recent flickr article, on the flickr blog prompts me to once again ponder, the meaning of memory and photography, after all is not memory one of the major defining factors that makes us human? The article basically suggested surprise at photography's ability to remember to aid it and amplify it.

And amazing how the description on a photo in Flickr can be part of our personal idiolect.
But also amazing is the fact that it was posted 23 months ago now.

Memory or a Gestalt test?

Take this image on the left for example, a series of thumbnails, of my sets, some of which relate to times and places from as long as 2 years ago to more recently. Several memories automatically return as a consequence of looking at the thumbnails alone. I am reminded for example that we travelled extensively in the years 2004 and 2005.

I too am amazed at how much extra information comes back from looking at the thumbnails alone.

What however of a photo that has is not of anything readily identifiable? What kind of memories does it jog, for me or for another viewer? Does it, this other photo, has less value than the one where I can myself in time and space exactly and maybe even remember the other external stimuli that was going on around me? This is a sense that I often get as I flip though 20 years or so of proof sheets too, some recent proofs have even ended up on flickr.

This is a powerful feeling and one that grows in importance constantly, and perhaps is one of the reasons why photography has become such an important cultural tool in the last 150 years.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by s2art published on December 9, 2006 7:10 AM.

How Flickr Got Started was the previous entry in this blog.

Weather Conditions, & Photography? is the next entry in this blog.

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