Creative Approaches to Memory NUBS 3.13
Jul 06, 2023 11:00 - 12:30(Europe/London)
20230706T1100 20230706T1230 Europe/London 6.11. Digital practices & memories NUBS 3.13 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023
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The Memory of Cultural Heritage through the Prism of a Digital Platform: the Case of the Fête des Vignerons on
Individual paperMemoryscapes (digital, locational, imagined) 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/06 10:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 11:30:00 UTC
This article examines the socio-cultural event of the Fête des Vignerons, which takes place in French-speaking Switzerland every 20 to 25 years, and its archiving on social media. Based on an online and on-site ethnography, we analyze how social media contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage and from which elements the collective memory of this event is built. Grounding on the data published on the regional platform, we identified three categories of memory traces in social media and described the particularities of memory observed through user content and practices.  
Dominique VINCK
Presenters Tatiana Smirnova
PhD Student / Co-director Of STS Lab, University Of Lausanne, STS Lab
Memory Machine: Embodied Experience of Memory in Narrative VR Film
Individual paperEmbodiment 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/06 10:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 11:30:00 UTC
In recent years, a new narrative medium has been developing in the form of virtual reality film (VR film). Early VR filmmakers have shown much interest in memory. We argue that VR film is a memory machine, meaning that it affords authors certain narrative opportunities of sharing real or imagined memories unlike any other narrative medium. The primary and unique characteristic of VR film is that it enables an embodied experience of narrative. After briefly introducing the new medium, we will demonstrate how memory emerged as a significant theme by tracing the development of VR film since 2015. We will show how certain genres emerged that emphasize memory of protagonists and share early key examples such as Giant (2015), Sea Prayer (2017), and The Key (2019), which all center on traumatic memory of war and refuge. 
In the second part, we will discuss in more detail how embodiment functions in two innovative narrative VR films. First, The Book of Distance (2020, 25 minutes)recreates in VR the family history of writer and creator Randall Okita, centering on his grandfather Yonezo, who emigrated from Hiroshima to Canada during the 1930s. Yonezo and his family were subsequently placed in a Japanese internment camp during the Second World War. The viewer embodies their own self in this VR film as Okita directly addresses the viewer occasionally in the narration of his family history. As themselves, the viewer interacts with objects, using them in the same way that Yonezo and his family did. The viewer's use of familiar objects supports an embodied experience of Okita's imagined recreation of Yonezo's memory. Additionally, the viewer is prompted to help the Okita family build their new home in Canada, simulating an emotional and embodied investment in the home and its future. The Book of Distance exemplifies the prevalence of autobiographical memory of traumatic past of other VR films such as Waves of Grace (2015, Ebola pandemic), The Last Goodbye (2017, Holocaust memory), and Traveling While Black (2018, segregation and police violence).
Second, Is Anna Ok? (2018, 21 minutes) visualizes the memories of twin sisters Anna and Lauren Khan, who experienced a traumatic accident that left Anna with a brain injury. The VR experience shares the memory of the accident and its aftermath twice, once from the perspective of each sister. In each version, the viewer embodies the sister whose perspective is being recreated. This narrative device enables the viewer to experience directly the effect of brain damage on perception and memory, while the embodied nature of narrative experience amplifies the difference between the two subjective memories. Is Anna Ok? is one of several VR films that present an embodied experience of disability such as 4 Feet High (2018, paraplegia) and Notes on Blindness (2016). The paper concludes with a critical evaluation of VR film's current potential and limitations to share and create new experience through embodied virtual experiences. 
Tim Gruenewald
Associate Professor, The University Of Hong Kong
Cecilia Chen
PhD Student, The University Of Hong Kong
Participatory cultures in Digital Memory Platforms from Latin America: Twittestories for Identity and Memories of Exile.
Individual paperCreative Approaches to Memory 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/05 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 22:00:00 UTC
This paper explores memory and the digital turn in Latin America. I look at the uses of new media to engender participation and transmit memories through co-creation. In Latin America, memory work dealing with traumas of violent dictatorships is increasingly looking to online innovation following what has been termed the "connective turn" (Hoskins, 2016, 2011a, 2011b).  Through content analysis, interview data, new media and participatory cultures theory,  I examine digital memory platforms (DMPs) in the Southern Cone. This paper is a transnational examination of institutional digital memory platforms from Chile and activist approaches in Argentina. In the first case, I look at Chile's primary state memory museum, El Museo de la memoria y de los derechos humanos-  Human Rights and Memory Museum's participatory platform Memories of Exile – a crowdsourced virtual archive of testimony of the Chilean refugee experience. I then look at Twitterstories for Identity, an initiative created by human rights group Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo) in Argentina. In this paper, I use a participatory cultures framework to assess the innovative ways new media is employed in the region to co-create, communicate and work through traumatic pasts.  
Sebastian Bustamante-Brauning
Doctoral Research Student , University Of Bristol
Deep Nostalgia: remediation, digital afterlife, and algorithmic mnemonic practices
Individual paperCreative Approaches to Memory 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/05 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 22:00:00 UTC
Digital recreations of the past, and of the deceased, are part of the Internet's present. They circulate within social networks where logics of connection and connectivity underpin increasingly performative memory work. In this paper we explore these developments through a case study of MyHeritage's deep learning feature, Deep Nostalgia. Our analysis is informed by a close critical study of Deep Nostalgia creations, and discourses circulating around them, shared on Twitter during the two-week period following its launch, February 2021 (n.6935). We examine how memory is evoked, framed, re-worked and distorted through algorithmic processes, and within social networks in particular. We interrogate Deep Nostalgia's claim 'to bring beloved ancestors back to life' against the notion of 'digital embodiment' and remediated and creative mnemonic practices. We argue that by centering the ambivalence of the socio-technological phenomenon of 'algorithmic nostalgia' we can call into question a range of established dichotomies; body/mind, digital/physical, real/fake, human/non-human, private/public, remembering/forgetting and even life/death. We highlight the importance of studying emerging media and their nexus with memory studies beyond disciplinary communities, engaging, for example, with critical data studies, attending to the ways corporate interests increasingly shape – and assimilate – these activities.
Eva Nieto McAvoy
Research Associate, Cardiff University
Jenny Kidd
Reader, Cardiff University
Doctoral Research Student
University of Bristol
Research Associate
Cardiff University
Cardiff University
Associate Professor
The University of Hong Kong
PhD Student / co-director of STS Lab
University of Lausanne, STS Lab
Professor Areti Galani
School of Arts and Cultures, Newcastle University, UK
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