Thursday, February 4, 2016

learn to forget (the Age of Hyperthymesis)

At The Conversation, a short essay by Emma Smith - a professor of Shakespeare Studies - about the memorialisation glut and "the right to be forgotten"

"Three US neuroscientists published a case study in 2005 detailing how a woman... was plagued by memories of her own life and of public events such as the dates of death of Elvis and Princess Diana.... The researchers named this case “hyperthymestic syndrome”, from the Greek thymesis, remembering... It’s clear that we all live in this age of hyperthymesis.... The paradox of the digital future is the burden of the past that we are constantly archiving.

".... Some 78% of theatres digitally preserve and archive their productions by capturing their live productions and make them available online. In this archival process, the word “live” is under some pressure. “Live” streaming of theatrical events into cinemas is morphing towards designing productions specifically for the camera rather than the theatre audience.... The availability of recorded theatre online has increased substantially over the past 18 months: it won’t be long before almost all theatre productions are available online....

"Rather than always looking to record and archive we might want to reinstate the idea that being “live” demands impermanence, ephemerality and forgetting. 

"Forgetting – or half-remembering – is the way we collude with art to make it our own. We construct our own “highlights package” that is unique to our own often faulty memories of an experience....

"Remembering, not forgetting, is the enemy of creative reinvention"

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