04w10:2 History

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 10 number 2 (history)


The Reasons for the Current Upsurge in Memory | Pierre Nora
“It is of crucial importance, for it has shattered the unity of historical time, that fine, straightforward linearity which traditionally bound the present and the future to the past. In effect, it was the way in which a society, nation, group or family envisaged its future that traditionally determined what it needed to remember of the past to prepare that future; and this in turn gave meaning to the present, which was merely a link between the two. Broadly speaking, the future could be interpreted in one of three ways, which themselves determined the image people had of the past. It could be envisaged as a form of restoration of the past, a form of progress or a form of revolution. Today, we have discarded these three ways of interpreting the past, which made it possible to organize a ‘history’. We are utterly uncertain as to what form the future will take. And because of this uncertainty, the present-which, for this very reason no doubt, now has a battery of technical means at its disposal for preserving the past- puts us under an obligation to remember. We do not know what our descendants will need to know about ourselves in order to understand their own lives. And this inability to anticipate the future puts us under an obligation to stockpile, as it were, in a pious and somewhat indiscriminate fashion, any visible trace or material sign that might eventually testify to what we are or what we will have become. ”

Artifact: Visionary Art | Charles Paul Freund
“These spectacles, auctioned in the fall by Sotheby’s, are said to have belonged to J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851), the British painter whose wholly original treatment of luminosity late in his career inspired the Impressionists and revolutionized art. But British eye surgeon James McGill, a student of Turner’s work, believes the glasses are evidence that Turner’s late style was actually a result of his deteriorating vision. Turner ‘was painting exactly what he saw,’ McGill told Britain’s Guardian. ”

Artifact: Webcam in the Round | Charles Paul Freund
“Behold the Tholos, where the webcam meets the circular, painted panorama of the 19th century. The device, which features a 23-foot wrap-around screen some 10 feet high, works in pairs: People gathered at one Tholos can see real-time, life-size HDTV images of people around a distant partner device, with microphones enabling users to converse.”

To remove or add yourself from this list, email tim@instantcoffee.org

emailed by Timothy on Wednesday 03 March 2004 @ 2:09 PM

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *