Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
The internal processes by which we remember and learn (mnēmē) are in tension with the exterior mnemonic devices of writing, photography, and archives (hypomnēsis). Attempts to accurately record and document our lives often disrupt the living, intersubjective memory it is meant to aid. This dichotomy plays out in both the interpersonal sphere of relationships and identity, and in the socio-political sphere of history, governance, and economics. Our contemporary postmodern condition, as shaped by technologic developments, is marked by an increased skepticism about testimony, witness, and experience and a greater reliance on data-driven information and the structure of the database. Increasingly, in both the personal and political spheres, it is the hypomnēsis paradigm of the archive that shapes our understanding of reality and truth. In short, the database threatens to replace narrative structures as the primary mode of representation, meaning making, and remembering.
It is this tension that my work explores as I attempt to understand myself and the world around me through my own limited perspective. I am interested in the psychological impulse to both document and narrativize one’s life and the inherent shortcomings of these conflicting approaches. By investigating the conventions and aesthetics of digital and physical archives and by drawing parallels between the personal and socio-political, my work resists essentializing forms of knowledge production that both narratives and archives can produce. Simultaneously through these very shortcomings my work explores the possibility for dialogic and relational ways of knowing.
Deddo, Gregory, "Records of (un)learning" (2021). Masters Theses. 798.
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