You Have a New Memory: On Hauntology, Mnemonic Implants, and the Problem of Memory in the Digital Age

Thumbnail Image
Jennings, William T.
Memory , Hauntology , Slow cinema , Slowtime , Cyberspace , Nostalgia
The ubiquity of the internet since the dawn of the 21st century has fundamentally restructured our relationship to time, history, and memory. Motivated by fetishistic logics of obfuscation and illegibility, new media has externalized our processes of memory and turned them into synthetic, uncanny mnemonic implants — artificial memories collated and re-presented to us by ghostly algorithmic forces lurking behind the digital curtains of cyberspace. Beginning with classical theories of memory by the likes of Henri Bergson, and with contemporary cultural and political theory by Jodi Dean, Mark Fisher, and others, I outline a new philosophy of memory to account for a widespread alienation of the digital subject from both individual and collective histories; subsequently, I argue for the emergence of an alternative temporality - a concept I call slowtime - to counter the internet’s logics of speed and overstimulation. Through a dialectics of temporality, this research-creation thesis project uses slowness to interrogate speed, to resist the overburdening of time by late-capitalist temporal structures, and to reclaim the memory-image through the synthesis of slow cinema and the video diary.
External DOI