Photograms, Memory and Touch


Vital to identity, narrative and cultural memory, touch, denigration and transformation due to human contamination expose the aging process. A direct encounter with material helps to frame our physical relationship with and knowledge of the world. Without touch, we lose substance and the ability to perceive space. In the 1920s, László Moholy-Nagy challenged modern representations of perception through his experimental creation of images. His cameraless photographs or photograms expressed new methods of depicting objects, space and movement.The unique capability of the photogram is its reliance on light to record the surface of an object. These impressions can serve as a surrogate to our tactile memory of space. Of particular interest is how these images can then be reconstructed as three-dimensional objects which can be interacted with and viewed from various points of contact which redirect the narrative of memory as a physical occurence. A simple change in perception allows an awareness of things we know, but did not know we knew. Under the premise that multi-sensory engagement is what constitutes our remembered happenings, how is the haptic experience necessary to image-making and meaning? The current mass of digitally-born and stored images remove us from contact with aging and touch. This paper explores how the photogram as an image and a sculptural form is a remediation of our notions between touch and memory and how this representation calls for an interference in the governing ageless snapshots which occupy virtual space.