(edited by) Susan Aasman, Andreas Fickers, Joseph Wachelder – Materializing Memories: Dispositifs, Generations, Amateurs


Bloomsbury Academic, ISBN-13: 978-1501333231, English, 288 pages, 2018, UK

Our visual memory has been under the public lens of science since neurology became a debated topic in popular media. Personal memory, and its importance for our personal identity has been embodied in multiple media over centuries, but today, when video production has become affordable for the masses we are finally able to re-create an ‘experiential memory’. Now there is a convergence of social media, which has produced a demand for the digitalization of personal analogue material, with an encroaching feeling of nostalgia about pre-internet ‘easier’ times, and the omnipresence of animated screens in our visual landscape. The essays, all orbiting around the concept of ‘home movies’, are divided into three sections: ‘Dispositifs’, focused on media and tool influence and infrastructure, ‘Generations’, on the constant shift over time in the types of preserved memories, and ‘Amateurs’, sociologically addressing the dimension of these movies and their situated environments. Among them, Odin’s detailed account on ‘communication spaces’ and their technologies, Meigh-Andrews’ path of early Western video art, and Aasman’s examination of elder Peter Oakley’s YouTube vlog are defining some essential areas of research, ones that elaborate a rationale of the fondly memories now exploded in the atomised media practices.