We make our life with things, surrounded by technical artefacts and technologies. They are fundamental in the way we see and act, but only sometimes we are plenty aware of this. Where do these things come from? How were they produced? How do they define our possibilities and our identities? How do they determine the way we remember and project our future? This book explores these and other related questions analysing the relationships between technology, material memory, and forms of life, emphasizing the active and constitutive role that technologies play in our remembering with things. It argues that our common understanding of memory and its technological mediation is determined by a static view of technology, memory, and culture, and that this view is burdened by a dualism between the material and the immaterial, that overlooks the active role of memory and technology in our present forms of life and in the shaping of our future. To overcome this static view and its dualism, this book proposes a dynamic view of memory, technology, and culture, emphasising the active and constitute role of technologies in the shaping of our forms of life and including themes unusual in memory studies, such as the production of technology and the concept of nature. The approach of this book is theoretical and philosophical, but interdisciplinary, incorporating ideas and concepts from various disciplines, particularly the arts, humanities and social sciences.
Ronald Durán-Allimant is professor of philosophy at the University of Playa Ancha. His main research interests are the philosophical study of nature, time, and life incorporating scientific and technological ideas, and their ethical and political dimensions.
Chapter 1. The Dynamic View of Memory, Culture, and Technology
Chapter 2. Material Memory, Technology, and Cultural Heritage
Chapter 3. Material Memory and Technical Images
Chapter 4. Memory and Oblivion 1: Technological Somnambulism and the Material Memory of Things
Chapter 5. Memory and Oblivion 2: The Technical Production of Nature
About the Author
Ronald Durán Allimant makes a first-rate contribution to the phenomenology of artifacts and material culture. His conception of memory as a dynamic process in interaction with things brings a fresh perspective to both the philosophy of technology and practical notions of cultural heritage.
Allimant challenges us to consider memory in its material dimension. Analyzing how technical artifacts and images are imbued with memories and history, he offers a rousing conclusion as to how we might mobilize the memory of things to reconsider both the relation between mind and matter, and between nature and culture.