The Memory vs. The Experience

5/27/12

I remember fragments of this day with family building the brick wall in our family’s front yard, 1993, Age 6.

If you are a photographer like me, you must get tired of the monotonous questions, “where is your camera?” at family functions and questions of if you can take pictures of peoples’ babies or weddings or birthday parties (no offense family and friends 🙂 ). Firstly, let me say that I do enjoy looking at old photographs and being able to create and imagine a sense of the world I was too young to remember, or from a time before my existence. Memories are things that are intrinsically tied to visual images and photographs. Perhaps I am an oddball photographer, but it seems to me that the human psyche relies much too heavily on this photographic form for memory recognition.

This cubby made the perfect hiding spot for toys, lemonade stand profits, and other important items throughout my childhood, 1993-2011. This photograph was taken 1 day after the forclosure of my family home.

I know as a photographer, that’s not what I should say. I believe people expect me to say the camera’s image is a holy form of reality, while in fact it can never even be that… reality. Simply, it is a reference to a particular reality; one in which only a mechanical box can interpret. While this “box” can be a magical tool with endless other benefits, I believe it cannot replace the human body/mind experience.

I much so prefer to live in the moment rather than to struggle to capture every detail on film. I aim to feel the breeze on my skin, to create a sensory memory of the place’s smell, and to see through my eye’s lens. There is something much more spiritual and simplistic about this way of life; a unique experience that cannot be confined or recreated to reflect one 2-D perspective.

In the end will we have our memories, or the tangible objects to represent them?

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