Visual Form and Memory 4

steampunk_icon_for_Safari_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d4zhax0Vivian, Bradford and Anne Teresa Demo. “Introduction.” Rhetoric, Remembrance, and Visual Form. Eds. Anne Teresa Demo and Bradford Vivian. New York: Routledge, 2012. eBook.

“to animate rather than ‘fix’ the profound resonance of place and space, monuments and memorials, and media and mediums as dynamic sites of artistic, social, or political exchange in modern popular culture” (Vivian and Demo)

“physical locations and environments constitute deeply evocative loci of memory” (Vivian and Demo)

“material substrate of memory” (Vivian and Demo)

“inscribed on the ground and in the mind, erasing a prior landscape of cultural myth and memory before being partially written over by newly emerging identities” (Vivian and Demo)

“works elicit viewers’ personal awareness of history” (Vivian and Demo)

“exemplify how habits of seeing, remembering, and travelling materially intersect” (Vivian and Demo)

“anticipatory memory’ or ‘preemptive nostalgia’ based not on previous experience but on perceptions, expectations and desires gleaned through memoirs, travel guides, prints, photographs, and films prior to one’s visit to the actual sites” (Vivian and Demo)

“visual memory can ironically precede corporeal experience” (Vivian and Demo)

“how subjects which resist both visual representation and coherent communal recollection compel us to question the material form and rhetorical function of conventional monuments and memorials” (Vivian and Demo)

“vibrant nexus of innovative and potentially transformative artistic, social, and political practices” (Vivian and Demo)

“particular challenge that confronts memory artists as well as the viewing public: how to reconcile the charged space between two primary ‘forms’ of memory—the work’s inhabitation of an amorphous public space and viewers’ reinterpretation of its memorial symbolism” (Vivian and Demo)

“contestation between instrumental and cultural representations of collective memory” (Vivian and Demo)

“unusual media or mediums of memory and the rhetorically malleable aura they lend to objects of memory” (Vivian and Demo)

“essentially animate forms in the production of sight as memory” (Vivian and Demo)

“formation of artistic memory” (Vivian and Demo)

What I think about this introduction is that it offers a lot of good ideas of how to approach the cosplay and convention. I think that costumes are ‘unusual media of memory’ and they are also ‘cultural representations of collective memory.’ A cosplayer is ‘essentially [an] animate form’ that produces memory through sight.

Conventions are the places that ring with the animation of meanings–“dynamic sites” of social exchange in the making of popular culture meaning. For this reason they are the geography of memory.

I think the anticipatory memory can also be related to con goers, who may have heard about but have no previous experience with cons. When there is a disconnect between their expectations and their experiences, they do not acculturate or go from fans to part of the con community.


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