Friday, July 7, 2017

New Project: Memory and the Mind's Eye

I've started an experimental, potentially long term project devoted to the concept of memory and the mind's eye. These photographs attempt to depict how I visualize personal memories. Vivid and emotional moments stand out stronger than routine, everyday experiences. Sooner or later, however, even these moments begin to fade, mental images become obscured or partially destroyed by the passage of time and influx of additional memories.

Photography is a powerful tool that gives us the ability to visually recall moments in time with the utmost clarity.  As philosopher George Santayana writes in his essay, The Photograph and the Mental Image, “Photography has come to help us in the weakest part of our endowment, to rescue from oblivion the most fleeting portion of our experience—the momentary vision, the irrevocable mental image.” The photographs below try to demonstrate what happens to visual memories within the mind, unassisted by a photograph. I like to think of them as photographs of moments as if a photograph was never made, if that makes sense.

For this project I used my Pentax LX and Ilford Delta 100 film. Each photograph is made up of nine exposures: eight exposures of random/routine moments at 1/16 compensation, and one memorable/emotional moment at 1/2 compensation that I deemed important enough to remember. Most of the moments involved Katie, as she is the most important thing in my life. The titles refer to the one moment I wanted to remember, followed by a list of the rest of the moments I could decipher from the photograph out of the original eight.

I want to develop and refine this project further. Feedback is appreciated as always! Let me know if anything doesn't make sense, or if you think the concept is dumb. Anything helps. :)

Katie at Audubon Park on Her 27th Birthday, Thrift Clothing Store, Dressing Room, Cafe Luna, other forgotten moments

 After Sex, playing xbox (skate 3), other forgotten moments

After Brunch at Deville on Magazine, playing Rocket League, shopping at Walgreens, other forgotten moments

 4th of July at City Park, late afternoon walk, porn, other forgotten moments

 A Long Late Afternoon Chat on the Roof, a nap, looking out the window of a coffee shop, watching Youtube, other forgotten moments

 Frisbee Golf at City Park, looking for a book at the library, eating breakfast, other forgotten moments

 Sex, post office run, eating apple slices, playing with my cat, other forgotten moments