Interventions, Volume 03, Issue 03: The Rhetoric of Memory
Memory only exists as a reflection on and meaning made out of the past from the vantage point of the present. As such, they are always already mediated—the objective past they allegedly point to come to exist in the present only as distorted, selected, and redacted fragments. As Patrick Ffrench states in his reading of Deleuze’s notion of time, the recovery of the essence of the past—memory—is “not linked to any present that has been, but is a more original past, the pastness of a past which has never been present.”
In an age of increasing digital documentation, sharing, and archiving, an examination of the ever-evolving mediation of memories is pertinent. Histories exist in the collective minds of contemporary societies, produced from personal recollections, cultural narratives, political myths and willful acts of forgetting. Ramifications of the old Imperialism still haunt the colonized, while daunting encounters in the age of global capitalism rearrange the memory from the past. From traces of personal history, physical imprints of memory, the trauma of war, to rising income inequality, and the treatment of the mentally ill, the artists and architects discussed and presented in this issue delve into the complex and layered nature of human memory, both within the confines of our own consciousness and the impact left on our environment.
Kathleen Langjahr, Chaeeun Lee, and Amanda Ryan
New York, July 2014