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Media, Memory, Metaphor: Remembering and
the Connective Turn
Andrew Hoskins
Available online: 11 Oct 2011
To cite this article: Andrew Hoskins (2011): Media, Memory, Metaphor: Remembering and the Connective
Turn, Parallax, 17:4, 19-31
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Media, Memory, Metaphor: Remembering and the Connective Turn
Andrew Hoskins
Memory and Media Life
Around the time of the emergence of the contemporary memory boom Henry
L. Roediger III reected on the dominance of the spatial and search (as a means of
retrieval) metaphors of memory in cognitive psychology and philosophy. Some of
the most prominent of these, Roediger observed: have been derived from the
technology of record keeping and human communication.
1
He argues:
Advances in theories of human memory parallel, and perhaps depend
on, advances in technology [ . . . ]. In 30 years, the computer-based
information processing approach that currently reigns may seem as
invalid a metaphor to the human mind as the wax-tablet or
telephone-switchboard models do today. Unless todays technology
has somehow reached its ultimate development, and we can be
certain it has not, then we have not reached the ultimate metaphor
for the human mind, either.
2
Over 30 years later, despite, or rather because of, the mass proliferation of
technologies and media, the ultimate metaphor for mind and memory, still evades
the grasp of the cognitive and social sciences. Memory is unmoored yet dominated
by media. Forgetting or perhaps a new careless memory becomes the default
condition when there is no need to remember: that social obligation is carried by our
digital networks and prostheses, prosthetic memory as Alison Landsberg calls it.
3
Yet, if we accept Roedigers technology-human memory theory equation (above),
then the glut of media is also a glut of memory; the past is everywhere: media ghosts
memory. And if this metaphor is too easy, too cheap, it is nonetheless fair reection
on what mediated memory has become. Pervasive, accessible, disposable,
distributed, promiscuous.
Just to step back for a moment: the challenge of thinking and understanding
memory as mediated is complicated by pervasive talk about the media. The
anthropologist Dominic Boyer, for instance, notes that the use of the term the media
as singular noun and collective subject only attained widespread usage as recently
as the 1970s and 1980s.
4
And he goes on to argue with reference to this term: the
frequency, ubiquity and aptness of the placeholders become powerful inuences
upon how we know the world around us, they become vastly important conceptual
and experiential categories, the stakes from which we pitch out tents of knowledge.
5
parallax
ISSN 1353-4645 print/ISSN 1460-700X online q 2011 Taylor & Francis
http://www.tandfonline.com
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13534645.2011.605573
parallax, 2011, vol. 17, no. 4, 1931
parallax
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Memory is used in a similar fashion, as Roediger and James Wertsch argue: The
problem is that the subject is a singular noun, as though memory is one thing or one
type, when in actuality, the term is almost always most useful when accompanied by
a modier.
6
The issue of mediated memory is entangled in these twin trajectories of
everyday talk and ubiquity. And it is not difcult to see the linkage between the
contemporary memory boom(s)
7
and developments in media and technologies.
8
However, in relation to media, in its digital and pervasive manifestations, it can be
said that the medium has caught up with the metaphor. And there is a growing body
of work (principally in media and communication studies) claiming that life is not
lived outside of media. So: Mark Deuze advocates a media life perspective: to
recognize how the uses and appropriations of media penetrate all aspects of
contemporary life;
9
for Livingstone, social analysis increasingly recognizes that all
inuential institutions in society have themselves been transformed, reconstituted,
by contemporary processes of mediation;
10
and mediatization is the process
whereby social and cultural institutions and modes of interaction are changed as a
consequence of the growth of the medias inuence.
11
Furthermore, as Roger
Silverstone observes, media [ . . . ] dene[s] a space that is increasingly mutually
referential and reinforcive, and increasingly integrated into the fabric of everyday
life.
12
And survival itself is said to be premised on recognition of our environment
being inextricable from media: because [j]ust as water constitutes an a priori
condition for the sh, so do media for humans.
13
Given then, the tight coupling of media and memory concepts and metaphors, what
is the nature and function of memory? If immersion is the dening characteristic of
media life, then what are the key emergent ramications for the conceptualization
and experience of memory? In this article, I reect upon some of the metaphorical
and conceptual developments and dead-ends in media and memory studies, and
explore the media/memory eld that they shape or attempt to shape. I take the
digital, and what I call the connective turn as marking a paradigmatic shift in the
treatment and comprehension of memory and its functions and dysfunctions.
This shift, however, is peculiarly problematic and is unevenly acknowledged,
embraced, and rejected across the proliferation of the elds of media/memory
studies. I dont aim to provide a comprehensive overview, being beyond the bounds
of any article-length work. Instead I articulate the key dimensions of what I see as
something of a diffused rupture between and across media/memory studies in the
face of the connective turn. This is the emergent set of tensions and transitions from a
scarcity to a post-scarcity culture
14
availed through the abundance, pervasiveness
and accessibility of communication networks, nodes, and digital media content. The
connective turn includes the enveloping of the everyday in real-time or near-
instantaneous communications, including messaging, be these peer-to-peer, one-
to-many, or more complex and diffused connections within and between groups,
crowds, or networks, and facilitated through mobile media and social networking
technologies and other internet-based services. I treat media here then as the
holistic mix of techniques, technologies and practices through which social and
cultural life is mediated, as well as including the more traditionally and stubbornly
conceived mass media.
15
Hoskins
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In the terms of this special issue then, the connective turn could be seen as
envisioning a memory that is always already transcultural. That is, if we accept
Astrid Erlls denition of transcultural memory as: a certain research
perspective . . . transcending the borders of traditional cultural memory studies by
looking beyond our established research objects and methodologies.
16
For as the
connective turn undermines the biological, social and cultural divisions and
distinctions of memory and memory studies, a point I develop below, it also re-casts
the potential for what may now operate as transcultural. So, my aim here is not to
delineate transcultural movements of specic memories nor transcultural dialogue
between memories, rather it is to illuminate the media-technological architecture of
memory that already challenges such distinctions.
And it is the connective turn and what I shall go on to dene as post-scarcity
culture that has both accentuated and blurred the fundamental paradox in the
study, treatment and understanding of memory, namely its individuality and
sociality. This has been exemplied broadly by a disciplinary division of the study of
memory-in-the-head and the study of memory-in-the-world. Cognitive psycholo-
gists and neurologists recognize (to greatly differing degrees) the role of the external,
symbolic and technological memory eld and its impact on the architecture of
biological memory
17
but rarely proceed to fully incorporate the former (social and
cultural) dimensions in their work. A good example is the study of ashbulb
memory (FBM) which describes human memory that can apparently be recalled
very vividly and in great detail, as though reproduced directly from the original
experience.
18
FBM has effectively developed as a sub-discipline of cognitive
psychology. Despite the vast majority of the proliferating FBM studies focusing on
the personal memory of publicly mediated events, there are very few accounts that
engage with literature, theories and methods drawn from media and cultural studies
and the social sciences other than passing reference to the metaphor and to Roger
Brown and James Kulik often credited with inventing the term.
19
The study of memory in media, cultural studies and sociology is similarly
constrained through reluctance to engage with memory-in-the-head. As William
Hirst and Adam Brown state: For us, as psychologists, it is puzzling that the
individual consumers of mnemonic resources, the people who interact with them,
rarely gure in the discussions of collective memory.
20
This disjuncture runs even
deeper when set against the huge growth in mnemonic resources over the past fteen
years. In addition to my characterisation of the connective turn, many others
identify distinctive moves, moments or turns in the experience of modern life in and
with media and our relationship to the past ushered in by advances in digital
technologies.
21
And this array of emergent new or digital media metaphors and
concepts are being deployed to recognize and to work through the paradigm shift
underway in media life.
In media studies this is manifested in a tension between those who recognize the
post-broadcast era
22
as something distinct from what went before, and those who
seek instead to emphasize the continuities in terms of long-established explanatory
concepts and models such as media audiences, producers, and institutions. For
example, Clay Shirky identies what he sees as a kind of delusion within the
parallax
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newspaper industry when confronted by the development of the internet: It makes
increasingly less sense even to talk about a publishing industry, because the core
problem publishing solves the incredible difculty, complexity, and expense of
making something available to the public has stopped being a problem.
23
The current diffused rupture between and across media/memory studies is in part a
consequence of the rapid development of the ultimate spatial and search medium
(in Roedigers terms, above) the internet and its associated technologies yet
without discovering the ultimate and corresponding metaphor of memory. A
growing memory lag is thus opening up: a gap between the lived experience of
particularly those born digital and an (albeit patchy and contested) academic,
public, and a political lexicon of electronically and digitally mediated or mediatized
memory
24
. The challenge for memory studies is then to nd a new modus operandi
of media lexicon amongst this ux.
It is easy to observe the popularity of technology and media-based metaphors of
memory in comparisons made with permanent mediums of storage (paper,
photograph, audio and videotape, vinyl record, etcetera.). The durability of media
equates in this fashion to a durability of memory. Yet, the metaphor is also misleading
in that once the metaphor is in play we tend to endow memory itself with properties
that only the medium really has: permanence, detail, incorruptibility.
25
But it is the
digitally-enhanced paradoxes of ux and permanence, and immediacy (of access) and
volume, that scale todays memory. And that is why I have suggested newmemory as
a usefully dynamic descriptor: memory is always new given its continually emergent
state availed through the metaphors and media and technologies of the day (as well as
the same media reexively feeding reassessments of the nature and the very value of
remembering (and forgetting) under these conditions).
26
In tracing the impact of the connective turn, I turn to address the usefulness of some
old and new concepts and metaphors of mediated memory in articulating a new or
connective memory in media life.
Extensions, Ecologies, Circuits
The digital networks that today mediate self and society produce new and
sometimes highly contradictory social relations of apparently greater uidity,
complexity and density. This begs the question: what happened to memorys
moorings? We hear (endlessly) about the social bonds of place, family and
community. These provide frameworks or props for that most shared, most
communal, most cited of memories: collective memory. Much has been written
about how new media and communication technologies do not necessarily weaken
social ties, but instead string them out across time and space. Disembedding and
reembedding is how Anthony Giddens puts it.
27
Where then is collective memory
to be found?
Lets rewind and approach this question from the opposite direction in the hope of
arriving at the same destination: where is individual memory to be found? Well, that
Hoskins
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of course concerns all-that-is-internal: matters of the mind: thought, consciousness,
cognition. Now a curious thing has been happening in the sciences-of-the-mind
for a long time and is recently in-vogue. That is, cognition the mental process of
awareness, perception, remembering has been seen as extended, scattered and
distributed outside of the head and across social and cultural worlds. I say curious, as
the extension metaphor has a long and seemingly parallel history in media studies.
Look no further than the mid-twentieth century dening work of media guru
Marshall McLuhan: All media are necessarily extensions in technological form of
one or more of our senses. The electronic media together add up to an
externalization of our sensorium.
28
And the connective turn has ushered in a
renaissance of McLuhans work, seen by many as prophetic of the impact of the
digital on media life. Meanwhile, cognitive science and philosophy have developed
the extended mind thesis
29
which John Sutton denes as the idea that mental
states and processes can spread across the physical, social, and cultural
environments as well as bodies and brains.
30
However, the role of media in the
workings of the extended mind is not prominently or consistently accounted for.
31
Certainly very widely cited work such as Landsbergs Prosthetic Memory explores
how modernitys mass culture (lm and television) makes memory transportable
and potentially transcultural. Yet this is a pre-connective turn perspective on
memory and so barely touches upon the radical networking and diffusion of memory
ushered in with the advent of digital technologies. And to date there still does not
appear to be a signicant cross-fertilization of work say in digital or comparative
media studies with the philosophy of the extended mind. A more integrated model of
media and cognition is needed to facilitate a more holistic or ecological vision of
memory after the connective turn.
However, there are some interesting synergies crystalizing around a view of memory
as a kind of circuit that extends from individual cognition out into the world and
back again. Clark for example, argues that we see and feel through a kind of
feedback loop, a kind of autopoiesis of self rather than society.
32
For instance, Clark
identies this looping process in accounts of artistic creativity: The sketch pad is
not just a convenience for the artist, nor simply a kind of external memory or
durable medium for the storage of fully formed ideas. Instead, the iterated process of
externalizing and re-perceiving turns out to be integral to the process of artistic
cognition itself.
33
One can see how memory itself is looped out not just
heterochronously across a range of media and materials (friends, conferences,
photos, letters, date books)
34
but the very condition of remembering is increasingly
actively and re-actively constructed on-the-y and through its mediatized
emergence through a range of everyday digital media.
What then is the very character and quality of memory forged through such
networks and circuits in run-time? Bernard Stiegler writes of his portable
computer: I can read myself, listen to myself, see myself and download my own
work, and all of this makes for a very strange circuit: at once a kind of short circuit of
my own memory.
35
As our memory is increasingly connected with, newly ordered
through and distributed across complex networks of digital media and technologies
in our new memory ecology, what are the prospects for the sharedness, stability and
parallax
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continuity of memory (often attributed to some kind of collective)? We connect to
our web memory: Google, Flickr, social networking etc. and our web memory
connects to us. What are these digital archives? Memory aids, nodes, portals? Or are
they actually part of memory: inseparable from memory through the connections we
make with them. Unlike human memory, mediatized memory is always on.
One possible explanation for the diffused rupture between and across
media/memory studies in the face of the connective turn is the sudden mist of
many of the media metaphors of memory, especially in the face of their continued
use. For instance, the predominance of articial metaphors of human memory is
seen as owing to their materiality, as Douwe Draaisma suggests: Articial memories
seemed to prove the viability of a material explanation for human memory, without
reference to something as ethereal as mind or consciousness.
36
However, new media
technologies, networks and invisible information infrastructures and software have
signicantly blurred the distinction between articial memory
37
on the one hand
and human memory on the other. The technological unconscious
38
provides an
emergent viable immaterial explanation of connective memory. These kinds of
posthumanist claims are often wrapped up in a shift to a more holistic visioning of a
media ecology, or as Steven D. Brown and I have suggested, a new memory
ecology.
39
Ecology is the science of the relationships between organisms and their
environments. An ecological approach steps back for a view of the whole, to make
claims about the sum of the parts. So, rather than hiving memory off into distinct
and separate zones or even containers the body, the brain, the social, the cultural
etcetera an ecological approach is interested in how these together work or dont
work in producing memory. Put differently, remembering is not reducible to any
one part, but is made through an ongoing interaction between all the parts. An
ecological approach has a history rooted in the study of media. Many associate
media ecology with some early work of Neil Postman.
40
For Postman, it is the
matter of how media of communication affect human perception, understanding,
feeling, and value.
41
But he acknowledges the media ecologists George Orwell,
Harold Innis and Marshall McLuhan that came before him. Given this lineage, it
is perhaps surprising that the media ecology approach today is sometimes seen as a
separate and distinctive branch of media and communication studies, rather than as
core to the discipline. Media ecology is then the idea that media technologies can be
understood and studied like organic life-forms, as existing in a complex set of
interrelationships within a specic balanced environment. Technological develop-
ments, it is argued, change all these interrelationships, transforming the existing
balance and thus potentially impacting upon the entire ecology.
However, the new media (and memory) ecology is distinctive in its reexive
intensity, complexity, and scale. It facilitates unknowable dimensions to actions:
causal relations are increasingly difcult to predict given the underdetermined
character of social and political relations when subject to the connectivities of digital
media.
42
For instance, Katherine Hayles draws upon Thomas Whalens
characterization of this ecology as a cognisphere: which gives a name and shape
to the globally interconnected cognitive systems in which humans are increasingly
Hoskins
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embedded.
43
The challenge posed for those interested in the formation and
articulation of memory in its broadest sense is to account for human agency
amongst the automated machinic communications that have collapsed or even
renewed the search metaphor of memory seen as dominant by Roediger (above).
For instance, complex algorithms often barely understood by or even known to
the user have transformed the searchability, ndability, and retrievability of
information about the past, upon which individual, social and cultural memories,
are today routinely informed and shaped for generations anew.
And, a dominant and perhaps the dominant metaphor of media and memory to
which such algorithms are applied and also transformative of is the archive, which
I now turn to consider.
Space, Time, Archive
Archives have long been seen as the external and institutional basis for the
remembering and forgetting of societies at different stages of development across
history, and as an ultimate storage metaphor of memory. However, Jens Brockmeier
indicts the archival model as part of a crisis of memory, in its failing to adequately
represent the capacities of human memory.
44
Wolfgang Ernst, albeit for different
reasons, shares this skepticism on the usefulness of the archival memory metaphor.
He argues that there has occurred a shift from archival space to archival time
owing to the dynamics of permanent data transfer. So, Ernst states: In cyber
space the notion of the archive has already become an anachronistic, hindering
metaphor; it should rather be described in topological, mathematical or geometrical
terms, replacing emphatic memory by transfer (data migration) in permanence.
The old rule that only what has been stored can be located is no longer applicable.
45
But today the archive itself is transformed, mediatized, networked, and part of the
newly accessible and highly connected new memory ecology. In this way it offers
renewed metaphorical and conceptual scope for articulating memory for the
emergence of communities which constitute what Arjun Appadurai calls a new and
heterogeneous sociology.
46
Under such conditions, Appadurai argues, instead of
presenting itself as the accidental repository of default communities (like the nation),
the archive returns to its more general status of being a deliberate site for the
production of anticipated memories by international communities.
47
The potential
of the digital archive, however, is realized in the experience of more complex
temporalities of self and others. Online environments afford a more visceral sense of
the self as a node in media and thus in connective memory.
For example, the heavily marked cycles of 24-hour television news have for some
time refracted an external world segmented into composite fractions of clock time,
shaping or conicting with our internal sense of the passage of time. Compare this to
the non-punctual time of the Internet
48
, providing a different experience of the
continuity of time, even though it is also a platform for, and remediates, other more
punctual and cyclical media (radio, TV, press). One can say then that digital media
have complicated the temporal dimensions against which we measure our sense of
parallax
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presence in-the-world, and increasingly blurred this with our sense of presence in-
the-media, and also presence-in-memory.
However, it is instantaneity and pervasiveness that constitute the fundamental
contradiction of the digital archive. The seemingly compulsive immediacy of instant
or real-time connection/publication/dissemination online (including the sending of
texts, emails or other messaging services) accumulates a digital archive that is
unimaginable in both scale and in its accessibility and searchability. There is an
inherent ambiguity in what can be conceived as the containment and contagion of
connective memory in that it inhabits (connects) simultaneously with the realms of
both present and the past, or in media-memorial terms, the archive. So, despite or
because of the hugely powerful tools and technologies of digital communications and
archival databases, the hyper-immediacy and connectivity of having the mediatized
world at your ngertips produces paradoxically a gravitational pull that Paul
Virilio calls a residual abundance.
49
It is not just that the innite scale of
the Internet and digital archives tests the parameters of human imagination, but it is
their availability in the here-and-now that is both exhilarating and overwhelming.
The now much more visible long tail of the past is increasingly networked through
a convergence of communication and the archive. Smart phones and other highly
portable digital devices act as prosthetic nodes that extend the self across an array of
communication and consumption networks, personal and public. And the past itself
becomes increasingly insinuated by the rapid spread of digital networks and a
potentially continuous connectivity. This includes social networking sites, which
host a continuous, accumulating, dormant memory, with the ongoing and often
unseen potential to transform past relations through the re-activation of latent and
semi-latent connections. This residual abundance, to come back to Virilios phrase,
is an accumulation of many potential future re-initiations or re-connections between
individuals and groups that would once have been very difcult to nd prior to the
connective turn. Hence, there is a kind of digital dormant memory, awaiting
potential rediscovery and reactivation lurking in the underlayer of media life.
However, our proliferating digital trails of residual abundance may also serve to
prevent healthy and necessary forgetting. As Jaron Lanier suggests, theres a kind of
entrapment to a world in which ones ex-partners remain connected with your
current friends on Facebook, even if you delete your own friendship with them:
A Facebook generation young person who suddenly becomes humiliated online
has no way out, for there is only one hive.
50
Lanier is a good example of the rapid emergence of a new body of populist writers
(Clay Shirky, Charles Leadbeater, Dan Tapscott and David Weinberger for
example) who champion or deride the impact of digital technologies and media on
culture and society. Another is Nicholas Carr who, in his entire book, The Shallows,
berates what he sees as the outsourcing of memory on or to the Internet. He trawls
through a great deal of academic work and pop-psychology to warn of the perils of
connectivity as a kind of loss of memory, intellect, and identity: The Webs
connections are not our connections and no matter how many hours we spend
searching and surng, they will never become our connections. When we outsource
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our memory to a machine, we also outsource a very important part of our intellect
and even our identity.
51
So, for Carr, there becomes an imperative to make
everything searchable, taggable, mineable in a myriad of ways which results in a
kind of wholesale fragmentation of attention-span, of texts, of everything.
You dont have to look too far to nd other critics of the impact of new technologies
in diminishing the human capacity of memory. In the UK, for example, an
educational reform group has criticized the modularization of the A-Level system
(courses and exams for 1618 year-olds required for entrance to most UK
universities) for creating a learn and forget culture.
52
Bailey, one of the groups
supporters, argues that sitting a mathematics A-level paper now is more like using a
sat-nav system than reading a map [ . . . ] If you read a map to get from A to B, you
remember the route and learn about other things on the way. If you use a sat-nav,
you do neither of those things.
53
The sat-nav metaphor is a good example of the
tensions arising through socio-technical practices between human memory and
those activities seen as outsourced to digital networks and archives.
A number of the works of the new preachers and pessimists on Internet effects and
social networking differentiate the super media-literate generation so-called born
digital as particularly vulnerable and/or advantaged, from preceding generations.
There has been little systematic study, however, of the shifts in memory cultures and
practices in relation to changing media technologies. A notable exception is Ingrid
Volkmers pioneering international comparative study of media, news generations
and memory, which hints at a generational shift in the relationship between media
and memory.
54
Volkmer led the Global Generations Media project, which explored
the specic media experiences aligned to the formative years of three generational
groups (labeled: print/radio, black-and-white television, and Internet). The
project adopted Mannheims sociology of knowledge
55
approach to identify the
generational entelechies of each group, namely, the structuring of the common
experiences of each generation the creation of incessantly superseded, creatively
willed generational world-views.
56
So, Volkmers approach entailed revealing the
relevance of the media environment for generation-specic perceptions of the world,
despite national, cultural, and societal differences.
57
However, given the resonance of formative years to the formation and the
endurance of memory identied by some psychologists (memories drawn from the
lifespan between the ages of 10 and 30 for those aged over around 35 years
58
) this
study may be a bit premature given the relative recency of the development of the
Internet. Yet, there are nonetheless some interesting speculative ndings from
Volkmers team. For example, drawing on her data across media generations,
Christina Slade speculates that there is fundamental change from the older to the
younger generation [ . . . ] in the way that space and time are conceived.
59
For
the youngest cohort, then simultaneity, not order, is of essence. They do not see the
world in terms of events laid out on a map, but in terms of the time of the media
events, and their own location when they found out about them.
60
And I will just
conclude this section with considering a nal example of the simultaneity of vision
afforded by the online digital archive.
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Across the twentieth century, commentators acclaimed the accelerating transform-
ations in time and space that afforded a new sense of proximity over distance.
NowHere became a metaphor of choice, as with the title of Roger Friedland and
Deirdre Bodens collection
61
, who characterize: The experiential here and now of
modernity is [ . . . ] in a real sense nowhere yet everywhere. But new ways of telling,
showing and seeing were ushered in with the twenty-rst century accelerant of
digital technologies and media. Television news and sports and other events
coverage were once acclaimed for their multiplicity and simultaneity of vision: they
afforded closer, more complex and multiple perspectives, simultaneously in one
screen. And digital interactivity has afforded greater apparent control in
determining (pausing, rewinding, forwarding, archiving) viewer perspectives on
televisual content. But today, it is the database that accesses new archival
perspectives on events. Of course, television itself is increasingly database-like
with its increasing interactivity and connectivity, but today online, there is an
emergent archeological compression of previously scattered media particles of
events.
These trends effect new hypernarratives that fuse the (paradoxical) immediacy of
the online environment (instantly accessible and navigable) and the residual power
of the assemblage of the digital archive. To take a recent example, in the UK, the
BBC on their online news site have created a dense, multi-modal archival timeline
of the 2005 London bombings (7/7), which tell the story of the attacks on Aldgate,
Edgware Road, Russell Square and Tavistock Square as well as the emergency
response. This follows the recent completion of the 201011 Coroners Inquest
into 7/7 which examined in great detail some of the issues of the delays in
emergency services reaching and attending the victims of the bombings in a range of
locations.
The website provides a dense multiple-threaded audio, visual, and audio-visual
hypernarrative, aggregated from a spectrum of amateur and ofcial sources,
depicting the bombers, victims, emergency services, politicians, bystanders etcetera,
all contained within a graphic timeline plotted across the four locations of the
attacks.
62
Users can move the timeline and click on the array of sources to see/hear
aspects of the event unfolding in different locations at different times on the 7th of
July 2005. In this way, hypernarratives forged through the tight packing and
layering of digital and digitized media content, afford a memory beyond real-time.
That is to say digital databases re-spatialize and re-temporize events through their
interactive assembling and mapping of disparate simultaneities, which effect a
multimodal hypernarrative. On the one hand the hypernarrative acts as a
comprehensive monumentalization of memory, powerfully xing events in their
multiple iterations within a single perspective or timeline. On the other, the same
ne-grained corpus makes available an account (in relation to both its
comprehensiveness and the duration of open access) potentially subject to
unprecedented scrutiny and challenge.
Hoskins
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Conclusion
The connective turn is shaping an ongoing re-calibration of time, space (and place)
and memory by people and machines as they inhabit and connect with both dense
and diffused social networks. The shifts in media-memorial cultures refract a tension
between those who embrace a vision of memory as always already transformed
mediatized and those who resist and condemn the metaphorical and the medial
expansion of memory. Perhaps this is an overstatement.
Rather, but more seriously, it is more accurate to say that some commentators dont
even see media as part of their purview of the study of memory. David Berliner, for
example, condemns the usages of the term memory in anthropology, and its
dangerous act of expansion particularly in its conation with culture,
63
yet
doesnt even mention media in this context.
Some of the reliable dichotomies of memory and memory studies, the individual and
the collective/social, the public and the private, and memory in-the-head and in-
the-world, are increasingly insolvent. And even and especially if the new metaphors
of technology and media are struggling to grasp the speed and the scale of the
mediatization of memory, it is much too late to put memory back into its box.
Instead, media life is also memory life. Memory is lived through a media ecology
wherein abundance, pervasiveness and accessibility of communication networks,
nodes, and digital media content, scale pasts anew. An ecological modeling is
therefore needed to illuminate a holistic, dynamic and connected set of memorys
potential itineraries.
Notes
Thanks to Rick Crownshaw for his encouragement
and support and to the anonymous reviewers for
their helpful feedback.
1
Henry L. Roediger III, Memory Metaphors in
cognitive psychology, Memory & Cognition, 8:3
(1980), pp.231246.
2
Henry L. Roediger III, Memory Metaphors,
p.244.
3
Alison Landsberg, Prosthetic Memory: The Trans-
formation of American Remembrance in the Age of Mass
Culture (New York: Columbia University Press,
2004).
4
Dominic Boyer, Understanding Media: A Popular
Philosophy (Chicago, IL: Prickly Paradigm, 2007),
pp.45.
5
Dominic Boyer, Understanding Media, p.9.
6
Henry L. Roediger III and James V. Wertsch,
J.V., Creating a New Discipline of Memory
Studies, Memory Studies, 1:1 (2008), pp.922.
7
See Andreas Huyssen, Present Pasts: Urban
Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory (Stanford,
CA: Stanford University Press, 2003); Jay Winter,
Remembering War: The Great War Between Memory
and History in the Twentieth Century (New Haven,
CT: Yale University Press, 2006).
8
Andrew Hoskins and Ben OLoughlin, War and
Media: The Emergence of Diffused War (Cambridge:
Polity Press, 2010), pp.104119.
9
Mark Deuze, Media Life, Media, Culture &
Society, 33:1 (2011), pp.137148.
10
Sonia Livingstone, On the Mediation of
Everything: ICA Presidential Address 2008,
Journal of Communication, 59 (2009), pp.118.
11
Stig Hjarvard,The Mediatization of Society: A
Theory of the Media as Agents of Social and
Cultural Change, Nordicom Review, 29:2 (2008),
pp.105134.
12
Roger Silverstone, Media and Morality: On the
Rise of the Mediapolis (Cambridge: Polity Press,
2007), p.5.
parallax
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13
Norm Friesen and Theo Hug, The Mediatic
Turn: Exploring Concepts for Media Pedagogy,
in Mediatization: Concept, Changes, Consequences, ed.
Knut Lundby (New York: Peter Lang, 2009),
pp.6383.
14
See Andrew Hoskins, 7/7 and Connective
Memory: Interactional Trajectories of Remember-
ing in Post-Scarcity Culture, Memory Studies, 4:3
(2011).
15
See Andrew Hoskins, 7/7 and Connective
Memory.
16
Astrid Erll, Memory in Culture (Basingstoke:
Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming).
17
Merlin Donald, A Mind So Rare: The Evolution of
Human Consciousness (London: W. W. Norton,
2002), p.310.
18
See Roger Brown and James Kulik, Flashbulb
Memories, Cognition 5 (1977), pp.7399; Eugene
Winograd and Ulric Neisser, eds, Affect and
Accuracy in Recall: Studies of Flashbulb Memories
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992);
and Martin Conway, Flashbulb Memories (Hove:
Lawrence Erlbaum, 1995).
19
Roger Brown and James Kulik, Flashbulb
Memories. There are few notable exceptions, such
as Je ro me Bourdon, Some Sense of Time:
Remembering Television, History & Memory,
15:2 (2003), pp.535.
20
William Hirst and Adam Brown, On the
Virtues of an Unreliable Memory: Its Role in
Constructing Sociality, in Grounding Sociality:
Neurons, Mind, and Culture, ed. Gu n R. Semin and
Gerald Echterhoff (London: Psychology, 2011),
pp.95113.
21
See, for example, Will Straw, The Circulatory
Turn, in The Wireless Spectrum: The Politics,
Practices and Poetics of Mobile Media, ed. Barbara
Crow, Michael Longford and Kim Sawchuk
(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010),
pp.1728; William Uricchio, The Algorithmic
Turn: Photosynth, Augmented Reality and the
Changing Implications of the Image, Visual
Studies, 26:1 (2011), pp.2535; David M. Berry,
The Computational Turn: Thinking About the
Digital Humanities, Culture Machine, 12 (2011)
available at: ,http://www.culturemachine.net/
index.php/cm/article/view/440/470..
22
William Merrin, Media Studies 2.0, available
at: ,http://mediastudies2point0.blogspot.com..
23
Clay Shirky, Newspapers and Thinking the
Unthinkable, available at: ,http://www.edge.org/
3rd_culture/shirky09/shirky09_index.html..
24
One complicating factor here is the rapid
emergence of the Internet so that, as Christine
Hine suggests, Internet research can be seen as a
preparadigmatic sphere in that: It seems more as
if we all brought our paradigms with us from our
home disciplines, but Internet research itself has
never had a single paradigm (2005: 240).
Interestingly, albeit for differing reasons, the non-
paradigmatic aspects of memory studies/social
memory studies (Olick and Robbins 1998; Olick
2008: 21) have troubled some amidst the rapid
development of this eld.
25
Ulric Neisser, Memory With a Grain of Salt,
in Memory: An Anthology, ed. Harriet Harvey Wood
and A. S. Byatt (London: Chatto & Windus,
2008), pp.8088.
26
See, Andrew Hoskins: New Memory: Mediat-
ing History, The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and
Television, 21:4 (2001), pp.191211; Television
and the Collapse of Memory, Time & Society, 13:1
(2004), pp.109127, and Digital Network
Memory, in Mediation, Remediation, and the Dynamics
of Cultural Memory, ed. Astrid Erll and Ann Rigney
(Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter), pp.91106.
27
Anthony Giddens, The Consequences of Modernity
(Cambridge: Polity, 1990).
28
Marshall McLuhan, Letters of Marshall McLuhan
[1960], ed. Matie Molinaro et al. (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1980), p.256.
29
Andy Clark, Being There: Putting Brain, Body, and
World Together Again (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press,
1997) and Andy Clark, Supersizing the Mind:
Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension (Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 2008).
30
John Sutton, Memory and the Extended
Mind: Embodiment, Cognition, and Culture,
Cognitive Processing, 6:4 (2005), pp.223226.
31
See, for example, Richard Menary, The
Extended Mind (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press,
2010).
32
Andy Clark, Supersizing the Mind; see also: Niklas
Luhmann, The Reality of the Mass Media [1996],
trans. Kathleen Cross (Oxford: Polity Press,
2000), and Richard Grusin, Premediation: Affect
and Mediality After 9/11 (Basingstoke: Palgrave
Macmillan, 2010).
33
Andy Clark, Supersizing the Mind, p.77.
34
Geoffrey C. Bowker, Memory Practices in the
Sciences (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008), p.226.
35
Bernard Stiegler, Teleologics of the Snail: The
Errant Self Wired to a WiMax Network, Theory,
Culture & Society, 26:23 (2009), pp.3345.
36
Douwe Draaisma, Douwe, Metaphors of Memory:
A History of Ideas About the Mind, trans. Paul
Vincent, (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 2000), p.231.
37
Steven Rose, The Making of Memory: From
Molecules to Mind (London: Bantam Books, 1993).
38
Nigel Thrift, Remembering the Technological
Unconscious by Foregrounding Knowledges of
Position, Environment and Planning D: Society and
Space, 22:1 (2004), pp.17590.
Hoskins
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39
Steven D. Brown and Andrew Hoskins,
Terrorism in the New Memory Ecology: Mediat-
ing and Remembering the 2005 London Bomb-
ings, Behavioural Sciences of Terrorism and Political
Aggression, 2:2 (2010), pp.87107.
40
Neil Postman, The Reformed English Curri-
culum, in The Shape of the Future in American
Secondary Education, ed. Alvin C. Eurich (New York:
Pitman, 1970), pp.160168.
41
Neil Postman, The Reformed English Curri-
culum, p.161.
42
See, Andrew Hoskins and Ben OLoughlin, War
and Media: The Emergence of Diffused War.
43
Katherine N. Hayles, Unnished Work: From
Cyborg to Cognisphere, Theory, Culture & Society,
23:78 (2006), pp.159166.
44
Jens Brockmeier, After the Archive: Remap-
ping Memory, Culture & Psychology, 16:5, p.10.
45
Wolfgang Ernst, The Archive As Metaphor,
Open, 7 (2004), pp.4643.
46
Arjun Appadurai, Archive and Aspiration, in
Information is Alive: Art and Theory on Archiving and
Retrieving Data, ed. Joke Brouwer and Arjen
Mulder (Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, 2003),
pp.1425.
47
Arjun Appadurai, Archive and Aspiration.
48
See Michael Warner, Publics and Counterpublics
(New York: Zone, 2002) and Lisa Gitleman,
Always Already New: Media, History and the Data of
Culture (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006).
49
Paul Virilio, Open Sky (London: Verso, 1997),
p.24.
50
Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto
(London: Allen Lane, 2010), p.70.
51
Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: How the Internet is
Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember
(New York: W. W. Norton and Company, Inc.,
2010), p.195.
52
Katherine Sellgren, A-Levels too much like
sat-nav. BBC news, 17 June 2009, ,http://news.
bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8103274.stm .
[accessed June 2009].
53
Katherine Sellgren, A-Levels too much like
sat-nav.
54
Ingrid Volkmer, ed., News in Public Memory: An
International Study of Media Memories across Gener-
ations (New York: Peter Lang, 2006).
55
Karl Mannheim, Essays in the Sociology of
Knowledge (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul,
1952).
56
David Kettler and Colin Loader, Karl
Mannheim and Problems of Historical Time,
Time & Society, 13:2/3 (2004), pp.155172.
57
Ingrid Volkmer, Preface, in Volkmer, ed.,
News in Public Memory, pp.110.
58
David C. Rubin et al., Autobiographical
Memory Across the Lifespan, in Autobiographical
Memory, ed. David Rubin (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1988), pp.202224.
59
Christina Slade,Perceptions and Memories of
the Media Context, in News in Public Memory, ed.
Ingrid Volkmer, pp.195210.
60
Christina Slade, Perceptions and Memories of
the Media Context, p.209.
61
Roger Friedland and Dierdre Boden, eds,
NowHere: Space, Time and Modernity (Berkeley,
CA: University of California Press, 1994).
62
7/7 inquests: Emergency delays did not cause
deaths, Timeline at: ,http://www.bbc.co.uk/
news/uk-13301195..
63
David C. Berliner, The Abuses of Memory:
Reections on the Memory Boom in Anthropol-
ogy, Anthropological Quarterly, 78:1 (2005),
pp.197211.
Andrew Hoskins is Interdisciplinary Research Professor in Global Security in the
Adam Smith Research Foundation, College of Social Sciences, University of
Glasgow, UK. He is founding Editor-in-Chief of the SAGE journal of Memory
Studies, Co-Editor of the Palgrave Macmillan Book Series: Memory Studies and
founding Co-Editor of the SAGE journal of Media, War & Conict. His most recent
books are: Media and Radicalisation: Connectivity and Terrorism in the New Media Ecology
(Routledge, 2011, with Akil Awan and Ben OLoughlin) and War and Media: The
Emergence of Diffused War (Polity, 2010, with OLoughlin).
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