Memories… You’re talking about memories.
– Rick Deckard, Blade Runner
The piece is called “Replicant Memories” and is an edited version of something I roughed out right here on this site about Blade Runner‘s Replicants, implanted memories, media allusions, and nostalgia. Here’s an excerpt:
Replicants are obsessed with photographs. Where the Replicants can’t be entirely sure of the validity of their own pasts, pictures provide a visual totem, a physical connection to the implanted “cushion” of their memories. In our world, photographs—as well as the phonograph records of [Walter] Benjamin’s critique—have long since given way to digital reproductions. We’ve managed to abstract the media even further, by manipulating the digital to evoke previous analog formats. As filters on digital photos make images look “vintage,” and digital effects make recordings sound like scratchy vinyl, we are facing crisis of context. It’s not just longing. It’s the undermining of that longing.
You can read the whole thing over on OMNI Reboot.
I am quite happy to be sharing webspace with Bruce Sterling, Rudy Rucker, Wiley Wiggins, R.U. Sirius, Claire L. Evans, and extant gems from the OMNI archives. Many thanks to Claire L. Evans and Jeremy Frommer for the opportunity,