Disembodied eyes, or the culture of apocalypse

Open Democracy: As photography a threat to memory? Marina Warner on how images can dissolve rather than preserve the past.
“Memories at risk!” cries a poster for digital cameras. The ad means to say that unless you take photographs, the parties, the family gathering, the children growing up, life itself, all of it will grow dim and even – vanish.
But you could take the slogan another way, and say that memories are placed in jeopardy precisely by images.
Film illusions, like dreamed experiences, seep into lived realities. The distinction that used to seem so clear between fantasy and memory, between actual and imaginary events has been fading. A new generation of video games incorporates documentary footage and mixes it up with virtual scenarios. Television news labels footage “live” to inform the viewers that the event is really taking place at that moment. While on American TV the warning “metaphorical images” sometimes appears across film of bombings or other events. Metaphorical – not simulated, not untrue: but we have to be told to receive them as truthful not fictive.
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Chief Bottle Washer at Blather
Writer, photographer, environmental campaigner and "known troublemaker" Dave Walsh is the founder of Blather.net, described both as "possibly the most arrogant and depraved website to be found either side of the majestic Shannon River", and "the nicest website circulating in Ireland". Half Irishman, half-bicycle. He lives in southern Irish city of Barcelona.