Interesting talk on the complexities involved in the digitization of memories, by Jose van Dijk at the “What’s Life Got to Do with It” symposium in Lancaster. Picked up a couple of things:
– The desire to record one’s own life connects with the desire to hold back amnesia. The anxiety to forget is intertwined with the anxiety not to be forgotten. For the western audience, managing memories has become a prerequisite for maintaining control of one’s life.
– The digital secularization of funerals: displaying digital flashbacks of the deceased person’s life
– Changes in the gendered practices of remembering: In many families, the man wields the camera and operates the equipment, whereas the woman organizes the shoebox. But digital practices may alter this because the ordering and storing also now take place on machines.
– Googlization: the embedding of personal collections in global networks. In commercial visions like Microsoft’s MyLifeBits priority is often given to the image of a jukebox of personal memory artifacts. My guess is blogs, on the other hand, would emphasize the inherent connectedness of individual memory to a constantly evolving social context.
Capturing technologies shape the very nature of remembering as they become intertwined in our daily routines of our self-creation. It’s nice to see academics are paying attention.