Recursion is the process of repeating items in a self-similar way. For instance, when the surfaces of two mirrors are exactly parallel with each other the nested images that occur are a form of infinite recursion.
Infinity has always been a fascination of mine. It’s humbling to think of something without end. These Instagram recursions could go on infinitely however after a certain point, like many things, it reaches a limit to the amount of change we can see.
Digital files don’t yellow and crack over time like traditional photos, however digital images do degrade as they are opened and saved as different versions or file types. Improper management causes file corruption and permanent loss. Potentially losing memories forever.
I wonder whether my childhood memories are real or simply reconstructions of photos and stories told by others. Does this make them any less real?
We live in a time that feeds off feelings of surreal nostalgia. Instagram’s 1977 filter is reminiscent of a time period most users won’t have experienced. Filters that reflect different films and processing techniques are used today by those who will likely never process a roll of film or struggle to attain the perfect exposure. Pictures appear instantly and we decide whether to keep that memory or to delete it.
In the past, images and the memories associated with them had a limited audience in time and space. One had to be in the same physical location as the image in order to view it. Modern technology allows us to blur these constraints of time and space. One can, for example, take a 1977-ish picture in Vancouver, 2012, then share it with a stranger in Cambodia. In this way, we create collective memories across the globe with only limited ties to the authorship, time, and location.
Scientia potentia est.
We’re able to publish information important to us, freeing us from any single governing body or media interest that may manage our memories. As such, we become the keepers and the fabricators of memory, able to choose what and with whom we wish to remember.
Reflection on our history shows us patterns in our existence and teaches us valuable lessons to make a better future. Let’s help each other make the best decisions going forward.
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