concentrated memory

A bit from Zissis Kotionis’ book “Tell, where is Athens”, that talks about the relation between history, memory, urban and natural space. Below you can find the text as it is translated by me:

“So we are suddenly talking about a function of memory, speed and time, which ascribes formatting features of the material space that surrounds us: both natural (mountains, seas, valleys) and urban (cities, streets etc.). In a geological event of a mountain reformation, memory of unknown events is being concentrated, events that occur in the dark interior of the earth underneath our feet. Respectively, in an “urban” event of a material reformation of an urban phenomenon, memory is once again being concentrated, memory of both known and unknown events that take place in the space of the city itself, but also in the wider geopolitical area, events that affect in a random or deterministic manner the continuous reconstruction of a social phenomenon, like the “city” (greek “άστυ”), with natural material characteristics. Let’s not forget: memory concentrated from the succession of random or interrelated events exists even in the formations of meteorology, of the weather that runs out of the windows, in the way that it appears in the continuous random cloud reformations. Therefore, inside the universal memory of the weather and nature, a sort of historical memory that proceeds and follows the evolution of the urban phenomenon is being inserted. This memory, which is concentrated in the unfolding of a city, has a spatiotemporal dimension that can be measured by the speed of this unfolding. Speed means: space per time. In other words, if the spatial formation of a mountain is space, and so memory capacitance of its own happening, and if the spatial formation of a city is space, and so memory capacitance of the city happening, speed gives a measurement, a rhythm in the unfolding, in the function of those memorial contents. And it seems as if the speed of function of the memorial capacity of Athens is particularly increased in relation to the memorial capacity of the earth itself, which always remains the natural basis of memorial capacity and spatial memory of the city.”

text translated from:

Tell, where is Athens (greek “Πες, που είναι η Αθήνα”) by Zissis Kotionis


Platonic Academy park in Athens, Greece, may 2014


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