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C Magazine Spring 2012 Memory issue


Buscando al Sr. Goodbar and The City is Creative are both discussed in an essay written by Michelle Kasprzak for C Magazine Spring 2012 Memory Issue.

This issue is about memory- how culture, technology and narratives shape our relationship to the past, and the material forms and media that hold memories. It’s also about the entropy, erasure and forgetting that erodes and overcomes memory, allowing new ideas, stories and cultures to materialize. Now is a particularly interesting time to consider this topic, as the material objects and spaces housing our memories, such as books, libraries, non-reproducible artifacts and physical exchanges, continue to give way to digital and virtual technologies that make information and memory increasingly immaterial, ephemeral and mobile, but also more widely and freely available. As we adopt the use of such technologies, there is an undeniable shift in our relationships to physical places and objects, to others around us, and to our sense of being bounded by time; this shift warrants serious consideration.

The Internet and social media platforms incorporate and arguably eclipse prosthetic memory, collapsing distances of space and time that cannot be bridged in real life into a virtual, often banal, and overly commercialized present. In her essay in this issue, Michelle Kasprzak looks at artists who use social media as a platform for their work, how it shapes users’ identities, and how it elicits participation. Many of the works she discusses experiment with the distinctions between the public and the private; individual production and group collaboration; and the representational and the real. When online, it’s often impossible to differentiate between what is real and what is not, what is past and what is present, and what is dead or alive- not to mention differentiating between experiencing it in real life and experiencing it on the Internet. On Facebook, scorned friends and deceased friends remain knowable and accessible, if not somewhat uncommunicative, long after they are gone from our real lives. Just as there can be no real death on the Internet, the sense of their loss is diminished, partially, at least.