ARTS3091 Week 4

This week’s idea revolves around how our experience is constituted or interfered by media. I shall examine a few ideas.

Ideas will be outlined to explain memory and its relation to media. As Boris and Hansen state, there are three types of memory, ‘primary retention’, ‘secondary memory’ and ‘tertiary memory’. ‘Primary retention’ refers to how we experience the passing of the past. On the other hand, ‘secondary memory’ is the act of ‘recollection in which we recount the events of a memory. As Husserl explains, “it is tertiary memory that introduces secondary memory into primary retention”. ‘Tertiary memory’ is experience and memory that has been recorded and allows the consciousness to relive the moment without living through it again. In other words, ‘tertiary memory’ relies on the technical to support and provides context for all memory. ‘Tertiary memory’ can include the ancient Greek technique of noting memory by writing. It definitely places a big role now in our experiences through blogging and vlogging. Also, Facebook with their timeline layout that helps us to outline our experiences from the past.

There was a great excerpt in the Inception and Philosophy book that outlines the correlation between memory and perception. Botz-borstein states that “memory has an odd and covariant relation to present perception”. Botz-borstein brings up a good idea in which we need our personal past experiences in order to interpret our present perceptions. Inception demonstrates the great and intense connection Cobb has to his memory of his wife, Mal. Likewise, we are bound by our past experiences and memories. How much of it is ‘ours’? How believable is it?

This relates to the idea of mnemotechnics which is the crisis in the contemporary ‘ecology of the mind’. Media is influencing our sense of the ‘natural’ or even what ‘culture’ is.  Our ‘tertiary memory’ is becoming more and more influenced by media techniques of recording memory. I don’t know what to think anymore.


Boris M, Hansen N, 2004, New Philosophy for a New Media, MIT, USA

Botz-bornstein, 2011, Inception and Philosophy: Ideas to die for, Carus Publishing Company, USA


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