And Another Reason

And here’s another reason to keep a blog: I get to make a little archive of neat stuff found or read online. Case in point, today’s post over at Things Magazine:

“What emerges from all this is more evidence of the steep valley that lies between history and nostalgia, wherein a penchant for the latter tends to shape one’s attitude and interpretation of the former.

The Internet exacerbates this condition, building up our perception of the past through the endless reproduction and celebration of past ephemera. The past is filtered through a lens of celebration, a perpetually art directed world, be it the gritty black and white world of life sold from a suitcase in these images of Brick Lane in the 80s, or Soviet ruins, or abandoned lunatic asylums, rusting machinery, filleted libraries, caches of Eastern European match box covers, esoteric ephemera from long-forgotten Olympic games, boring postcards, found photographs, passive aggressive notes left on refrigerator doors, weird LP records, shopping lists, ticket stubs, or even our own almost entirely context free Pelican Project.

Collectively, we’ve managed to make a fetish of the failed, forgotten and the marginal, mashing them together with the Utopian and the celebrated until the edges are blurred. Whether its the decline of manufacturing and urban centres (Chicago Urban Exploration) or nuclear catastrophe (Approaching Chernobyl) or the collapse of the housing market (Scenes from Surrendered Homes) is all rendered flat and equal by the vivid resonance of the image. This is where the overwhelming emotional content of a carefully filtered past meets our nostalgia for now (‘… a mourning for the transience of a moment when you are still in that moment‘), and the result is a state of being that appears to seek out the romantic past in every captured moment.”

Fetish of the failed? Nostalgia for now? Alliterative indigestion aside, I’m going to be chewing on these paragraphs for months.

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