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Can We Save Our Audio-visual Heritage ?

Daniel Teruggi

mardi 28 décembre 2004, par Collecte CND R.L

Memory is our major link to the past ; it has greatly influenced the evolution of humankind. Since the beginning of humanity, we have sought to preserve memories through the creation of artefacts that will transcend our own lifetime and so assure ourselves some form of posterity, perhaps even eternity. For some time writing has been the major complex medium of preserved reality. Not only does writing record human actions, beliefs and emotions, but it is an intellectual tool in itself, giving a temporal perspective on our thought as well as providing increasing levels of abstraction. Other forms have always existed : drawing, painting, architecture, sculpture, music ; all of them trying to grasp the essence of a moment, of a belief, or of a way of thinking.

At the end of the 19th Century new forms of external memory appeared ; first came photography, that brought a totally new sense of realism to images ; then sound transmission and sound recording, which separated the space-time unity of perception. Finally came moving images which gave the illusion that life could be recorded, simulated and invented. These new approaches to memory gave birth to new media : radio, cinema, television, and their further evolutions. Common to all these media was the fact that they could only exist through intermediates ; for the first time humanity’s perception could only address information through an intermediary, which transformed electric or digital information to an accessible form for our senses [1].

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