30. November 2010 Uncategorized 0
From the intro to Michael Baxandall’s short but striking exploration of his own memory, Episodes:
Inviting characteristics of the dune then include: (1) it is, in a finite but extended life-span, continuous but changing; (2) this transitive identity lies in a unitary structure (the anatomy of large-grained plinth, angled upper-crusted layers, soft zones and hard zones); (3) in this structure is deposited an internalized selective record of its own history, the lamination–though this is not what we would call ‘memory’; (4) the laminated structure is also an armature of its present stability, its firmness being one condition of the way it will stand and survive and behave now; (5) the dune is responsive to the presence and forms of its fellows but (6) also acts reflexively on itself, redirecting with its own form the shaping agent, the wind.I have great, gaping holes of in my memory–more than most people–from specific periods in my life. I imagine that the experiences I can’t remember do still affect the way I “stand and survive and behave.” They must help to give shape to the whole, like soft zones and hard zones, structuring from beneath. I find this analogy both comforting and ominous.