“Memory is a biological function, enabling behaving organisms to learn from experience. It is also a faculty of mind, allowing people to retain knowledge, reflect on the past, and anticipate the future.” – The Human Ecology of Memory
Having made the decision to focus on memory, it is important to gain an understanding of a number of ways in which memory can have an influence. More specifically it is vital to find out more of why the chosen piece is so compelling and so exciting for the creator. My piece of work on memory is something that has been heavily researched, in an effort for it to be a stronger piece of work that I have done before.
Memory is an element that stands out to me the most out of all the three artefacts because of its universal yet private and personal feel. Every single person on this planet will have at least one stand out memory, we either celebrate it or we repress it. In this artefact I want to be able to put it out there and have it relate to everyone, have it make sense to those who may not realise how powerful a memory really can be to the human mind and more importantly our emotional state.
Looking at specific different media representations of memory within various artefacts gives me a better understanding of how to provide work that has depth, scope and most importantly a narrative that is intriguing. Films and television shows in particular play a key role in any research I do, especially for these artefacts. Out Of The Dark, 50 First Dates, Memento, Revenge, Slumdog Millionaire, Groundhog Day, Desperate Housewives, CSI, The Bourne Identity and Memento are just a few of the films I found helpful whilst progressing on this artefact.
These films and television series give me insight into the psychological aspect of a flashback. The way in which it can drive a story, its powerful way of adding something refreshing to a point in the narrative. I want to be able to tell a story the right way in a flashback, using real life as an example I have been able to understand when a flashback is deemed appropriate. Reaching a certain point in life, we can all accept that we are going to be reminiscence. The triggers of our minds that we have are able to be taken instantly back to a moment in time. I present the idea of a person remembering a day in her life of no significance as a symbol of the lack of substance, the desperation to have more, to do more and become someone new that we all crave in our lives at some point. Through this flashback of an ordinary day, I have presented a time of life that is dormant.
Memento in particular is one of the key ingredients to this artefact. The story of this motion picture has me hooked on its unusual way of using narrative. The film’s idea of being unable to make new memories struck me as something so incomprehensible, the human memory is a treasure chest; the idea of it being unable to function is devastating to me. I find links to modern-day society in this film, particularly it’s use of false memory and how we are fed certain ideas and values for others personal and professional gain. My memories help me to value, learn and appreciate so many things. Memento’s use of telling a story within a story grabbed me and made me want to think carefully on how to approach this artefact. Tell a story within a story, but with a real purpose for doing so. I find this to be something that has taught me a lesson how to really dive into portraying a good narrative, find the a deeper meaning to what you set out to create.
Ronald Reagan and his near death experience provided plenty of constructive ideas on how to portray a memory in a sensual way. Life after death and the realisation of a life moving on past consciousness and awareness is something I want to come across in the artefact. I am creating a piece of work on memory, a person reliving a day without meaning or purpose. The sense of life moving on after us is a feeling that can be morbid, yet presenting an artefact with the theme of memory and life after death gave me the idea to incorporate the feeling of loss and approaching.
Tom Hussey’s 2010 photography collection “Reflections” provided to me in a lecture pushed me further into the idea of remembrance and nostalgia. The way in which it portrays memory and a life fully lives gave me such inspiration. The work he produces is brilliant. Although it is something simple, it helps me to know that when researching a particular element of life; it’s important to gain perspective of what we have done for this world. Does our life have substance? Challenging this idea is something I added into the artefact to present a sense of moral worth and stability.
My is artefact different to anything else I have done, by designing the shots and it’s core message to centre not only on memory but on the morality of life and our struggles with knowing our place within a society that has so much control on us. It is an interpretive piece of work, I do feel that this artefact can mean something different to those who see it; but the main message is about our individuality as people of a society where memory is no longer an essential thing. We live our lives in a world full of technology, that our basic need for memory is dying out.
Oscar Wilde once said “Memory is the diary that we all carry with us”. Immediately after looking for quotes, this is the one that stands out the most. It is easily relatable, the audience watching the artefact they are able to interact with the idea of our minds being more than just a brain; but of something full to the brim of memories. Oscar Wilde provides a generous idea of memory being more than just a feature to our souls, but a part of who we are as human beings.
- Socrates.berkeley.edu. 2013. Human Ecology of Memory. [online] Available at: http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~kihlstrm/mnemosyne.htm [Accessed: 27 Nov 2013]
- Goodreads. 2013. a quote by Oscar Wilde. [online] Available at:http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/81690-memory-is-the-diary-we-all-carry-about-with-us [Accessed: 26 Nov 2013].
- IMDb. 2013. Memento (2000). [online] Available at:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0209144/ [Accessed: 26 Nov 2013].
- Millionaire, S. 2013. Slumdog Millionaire (2008). [online] Available at:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1010048/?ref_=nv_sr_1 [Accessed: 26 Nov 2013].
- Sutton, J. 2003. Memory. [online] Available at:http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/memory/ [Accessed: 26 Nov 2013].
- YouTube. 2013. The Moving Story of Ronald Reagan. [online] Available at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xm3jSM5zuXg [Accessed: 26 Nov 2013].
- YouTube. 2013. Memento Official Trailer. [online] Available at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMBTMEgCSok [Accessed: 26 Nov 2013].
- YouTube. 2013. Slumdog Millionaire – Trailer. [online] Available at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIzbwV7on6Q [Accessed: 26 Nov 2013].
- Housewives, D. 2012. Desperate Housewives (TV Series 2004–2012). [online] Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0410975/?ref_=nv_sr_1 [Accessed: 20 Nov 2013].
- Kelley, M., Stowe, M., Vancamp, E. and Mann, G. 2013. Revenge (TV Series 2011– ). [online] Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1837642/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 [Accessed: 27 Nov 2013].
- Nordquist, R. 2013. flashback – definition and examples of flashback. [online] Available at: http://grammar.about.com/od/fh/g/flashbackterm.htm [Accessed: 27 Nov 2013].
- the Guardian. 2012. How narratives can aid memory. [online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/15/story-lines-facts [Accessed: 10 Nov 2013].
- Writersdigest.com. 2013. 3 Tips for Writing Successful Flashbacks | WritersDigest.com. [online] Available at: http://www.writersdigest.com/qp7-migration-all-articles/qp7-migration-fiction/3_tips_for_writing_successful_flashbacks [Accessed: 27 Nov 2013].