Memory and materiality

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Memory Studies, 2013, 6 (3), pp. 253 - 261
Issue Date:
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This article explores the idea of memory effects, that is, memory and materiality as intertwined producers of something we can call memory effects. This article argues that memory is an 'effect' produced through and with materiality, rather than something only produced by a human-centred consciousness. Through an exploration of the scale of memory in the shapes of a tiny Captain Cook painted on a matchbox and a giant Captain Cook, which stands as 'Big Cook' in Cairns in northern Queensland (Australia), new paths of perception and connection that may better account for the circulations and translations of memory are established. To think of memory as having a scale is to see memory as always simultaneously physical and temporal. These are memory effects. To think memory as memory effects is to give memory a key place not just in orders of concatenating events that we may over-determine as 'national' but as an order of perception given to us by the things themselves. © The Author(s) 2013.
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