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Drawn from Memory: Reminiscing, Narrative and the Visual Image

Wright, Terence (2009) Drawn from Memory: Reminiscing, Narrative and the Visual Image. In: 23rd BCS conference on Human Computer Interaction, Cambridge. UNSPECIFIED. [Conference contribution]

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A brief review of Marcel Proust’s views on art, photography and memory, as expressed in his À la recherche du temps perdu (1913-27), sets the scene for a discussion of the value of photographs as triggers for reminiscing as well as scope and limitations for computer-based visual narratives. The paper is illustrated by three short video interviews with inhabitants of the Czech Republic and the Republic of Ireland. Each clip was shot aspart of interactive flexible narrative programmes: “NM2: New Media for a New Millennium” a practice-based research project partially funded by the EC or a FUSION cross-border creative and digital media economic development project, funded as part of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. The clips demonstrate a range of different approaches to reminiscing. They include personal reminisces, social memory and a diachronic method of relating the past. The interviews form the basis for a discussion about the role of the visual image serving as a stimulus for reminiscing. For example we shall consider how personal memory relates to cultural memory, how the ‘objects of memory’ can be drawn upon and how they are recounted. Thus the function of photographic based images as memory aids, or as stimuli for reminiscing, is placed in the context of the narratives that can be constructed around the image. The paper questions the role that photographic images have in the formation and reinforcement of personal and social identity. In such cases memory does not necessarily need to be based on events that have been directly experienced.

Item Type:Conference contribution (Paper)
Keywords:Interactive documentary; Proust; memory; photography; narrative; photo-elicitation; Interactive Village; Czech Republic.
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment
Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment > Belfast School of Art
Research Institutes and Groups:Art and Design Research Institute > Art, Conflict and Society
Art and Design Research Institute
ID Code:1337
Deposited By: Professor Terence Wright
Deposited On:02 Dec 2009 16:28
Last Modified:18 Apr 2012 11:25

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