Place; is this what you called upon? There are hours in which the enclosure of rooms affords us a glimpse of continuity. I remember. The unbroken resurgence of moments, now risen from their convalescence. Are we not drawn to think of this rising in terms of discovered memory? Return to the original memory, you say, return to the place in which that memory was articulated. Yet something is missing in that return. The time of memory, then: governed by the absence of a particular presence. There is a thing which fails to gain clarity. Instead, the hum of memory is forced to communicate under the eye of allusion.
There is a memory that when recalled positions the remembering consciousness in two realms simultaneously. This is how memory gains its identity: by sifting through theremains of the past and present concurrently. In their disjunction, remembered memory and lived experience prove to be dependent on one another for their temporal identity. In the space between the not now and the remembered now, both stretch into each others domain, defining the other by producing a borderline consciousness which remembers the past and recognizes the estrangement of that past simultaneously. In this way, both loss and presence fuse, creating a warped temporality whereby the memory object becomes stranded. Yet because the remembering consciousness is able to identify the existence of some past, the image of stranded memory retains lucidity in spite of the failure to achieve total recall.
The untime of memory: this is what I call upon. In the return – there is a place – memory persists. Only now, in terms of shadows: a presence defined by what is lacking. Dead stars appear, not only in memory, but in perception, because the time has yet to catch up with the present, so destroy that present. The false light of the extinct star belies a void which lurks temporally behind the light. In the aftermath of the star’s death, all we encounter is discards and echoes of the supernova explosion: “For days after a supernova is touched off, the residual explosion shines as brightly as the entire galaxy that the dying star called home” (Adams & Laughlin, 1999, p. 58). The hum of memory.
Down below, time is measured and drawn: memory becomes tainted by the fixed image of the past. As a result of this temporal delay, the star loses its distinct identity, morphs into the homogenous landscape of lunar space. Non-extinction creates its own matrix of spatial protrusions and ambiguities. Is memory able to be contained in interstellar space? In time, the memory of the remains comes to approximate the place of the memory object itself. Artifice and remnants mingle: the photographs of the past annihilate memory by replacing it.
The untime of memory: neither negated, destroyed, nor imagined: but stranded. Something intimate is perceived, but at the same time remote and destroyed. Memory does not belong to the past, or to the present. In the elsewhere, memory surges into both zones, unbinding the place in which memory was originally experienced.