Chaotic Ownership

“Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector’s passion borders on the chaos of memories”- Walter Benjamin

This makes me think of the clutter of pictures in my iPhoto library that continue to slow down my computer. I love having instant access to the silly photos of my middle school days and summers in the outdoors with my younger sister. We have a more vivid access to our past than any generation before ours.

Every media-user today is a collector. We collect photos, twitter favorites, Instagram comments, Snapchat stories. We can relate to the collectors of the past who had nothing but books to refer to for public knowledge. In reading “Unpacking My Library,” I found that whatever form a human’s collection comes in, the same themes of possession apply. It isn’t so much about the function of items, but the display they makeup. It’s the completion of a section, an aesthetic Instagram feed, and well-rounded accumulation of Facebook posts that show your friends that your life is fun and family that your sense of fun is in good taste.

Our aim as collectors in this digital media age seems to be experiencing the thrill of a visually pleasing exhibition of our lives and thoughts in pictures and words. Just as the book collector once took pride in his hard-covers and pages, we take self-worth in our media posts, our instantaneously accessed memories.

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One thought on “Chaotic Ownership

  1. Of that “clutter of pictures,” are these memories worth printing out for keep’s sake? If you lost all of your technological devices today, what would you do?

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