I have often wondered why so many people take so many photographs and digital images. It’s as if they’re obsessed with the recording and the creation of false memory.
We live in a liar’s world where fibs become fact and outright lies set national policy — and the social effect of that public expression of deception is that nobody believes anything anybody says anymore.
We now demand proof. Honor in the word and value in the handshake are gone. We want to see it with our own eyes. We want third-party verification.
Taking photographs offers proof of being and ownership of a specific moment in time. We record our bodies next to friends, in front of famous places, and at one-off events just so we can publicly declare in person, and online:
“I was there.”
“My life has meaning.”
“I have proof.”
Life through a viewfinder is safe, convenient, and distant — and it is terrible for the future perfection of the human core. Ourselves in images cannot not make us immortal; getting caught in photographs makes us fatally mortal in the folly. The moment the shutter speaks for us, we are rendered mute and ignorant.
I never take photographs of anything. I refuse to pose for photographs. I prefer, instead, to rely on my memory muscle to reveal the facts of my moments in time. I know where I’ve been. I know who I’ve stood with and smiled against. I don’t need independent verification of who I am and what I was.
When you give your memory over to a digital
image or to aging paper stock for safekeeping, you fall prey to the
the moment will always remembered. However, once the moment is
preserved beyond your mind, your mind will release the intimate, living,
details of that
memorialized event to make room for new experiences for analysis.
without direct meaning become abstractions of reality and not real
moments. We give definition and context to our preserved totems and,
without us to frame the experience, they lose all meaning in the
internal and only exist because of the false imprints of others — who
believe they have divined the meaning of an instant that never belonged