Tag Archives: memory photography drama

memories: capturing vs. creating

I’ve never been a good photographer because i’m more interested in creating memories than capturing them. As my memories fade over time, what stands out are the adventures. Living out Charlie’s Angels. Making friends with the giraffe. When i meet new people and i tell stories, i tell the stories of ridiculous, absurd times. Silver and pink puffball attacking with Waldo behind. Lectures given with I Fuck Like a Girl t-shirt.

In Learning to Labor, Willis talks about the importance of working class kids creating dramas as part of “personalised folklore” (22). I started thinking about how this fits in with what i’ve said before about life stages. Stereotypically, youth are known for “living for the moment” and not thinking about the future (much to adults’ dismay); parents are obsessed with capturing moments; and grandparents want to revisit them. Is there anything out there that documents different uses of photography in relation to age?

One of the saddest parts of getting older is that i feel as though there are far fewer adventures. Years go by with little to mark them whereas virtually all college months are marked through some drama in my head. My friends are capturing events and i think that Flickr holds more of my memories than my mind or body does. I often look at photos of me and realize that i had completely forgotten about that event. Yet, when i read all of my old blog posts from college, they followed the narrative i have in my head crafted through dramas. Am i letting technology replace my memory center? Or are things less memorable for me now?

There are certainly dramas now but more because they happen -to- me than because i create them. Of course, i haven’t gone this long without changing cities or driving cross-country since middle school.

What is the role of the adventure or the drama in memory maintenance? What is the role of technology? Are they compatible? Does a shift reflect a shift in behavior or is it created by one? I have no idea…