Forget Me Not: An Interview with Geoffrey Batchen

Geoffrey Batchen recently wrote a book called Forget Me Not, however I was unable to find anything on the internet about it. However I did manage to find an interview with him about the book which I found quite interesting.

In the interview, Batchen starts talking how there are many kinds of memory  (a link to the Connertons book) and all of them involve a type of historical reflection of one kind or another. What I found quite interesting is when he said that the book is as “emphasis is on a personal response to photographs.”(Dillon, 2004) This focus on memory shifts the attention from the producers of photographs to the owners of these objects.

To to induce the experience of personal memory a photograph has to be transformed in order to take the viewer out of the past and into the present. The subject of the photograph has to be transformed, from something someone may just see into a memory someone can bod with completely. This is why photographers nowadays add additional information alongside their prints.

Batchen then goes on to say “memory itself is something that is difficult to make visible”(Dillon, 2004). This is particularly interesting as with my work, even though we can physically see the marks, we cannot see the memories behind them as to why they have come about into existence. It’s a reminder that photography can often be a very private experience, shared only with a close circle of family and friends. (Dillon, 2004)

An interesting aspect Batchen starts to talk about is how every photograph is about death. (Dillon, 2004) The passing of time that makes memory possible and necessary is also what makes memory fade and die. This is an interesting thing to look at as my project is based on time and is almost  in a way looking at the death of sentimentality of the old pocket watches. So my images are almost an homage to the watches in a roundabout way.

Overall, I found this article very interesting to look at and has opening my eyes slightly more in how I can look at my images not only as a maker, but also as a viewer as well. Now I can think about how the watches can present themselves as objects that can evoke the memories.

Dillon, B. (2004). CABINET // Forget Me Not: An Interview with Geoffrey Batchen. [online] Cabinetmagazine.org. Available at: http://cabinetmagazine.org/issues/14/dillon.php [Accessed 24 Nov. 2014].

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