Imbued with memories

I guard my favorite sketches until I can work on a good story. Yet I acknowledge I won't ever find the time to write stories for all of them. Stories serve to describe how I experienced a given location, person, or object, or to elaborate a concept that lightly relates to a featured drawing.

Always timestamped, illustrations evoke memories of sketched artifacts, places, and people. However, when removed from their surrounding context, drawings act as timeless, platonic abstractions.

The windy road to Korakonisi brings me back to a one-off drive around Zakynthos with Aziz and Mikela. We are out of face masks teleports me to a conversation with Sanjay from Paris to Toronto in times when few people wore face masks around. But floating sketches of my Hatefjäll IKEA office chair make me think of the idea of this chair and not about a particular moment in time in which I was using it. What color is this chair? Is it comfortable? Is it adjustable?

Whereas a contextualized sketch is imbued with memories of the time and place in which it was sketched, a sketch of an item without context sparks thoughts of the item itself, not about the moment in which you sketched it (except when the item itself is representative of a salient event or moment in time).

A similar effect can be achieved documenting memorable events and abstract ideas with other mediums.

I'm repeatedly surprised by the power of drawings, texts, videos, photos, audio notes, and smells for memory reactivation.

August 11, 2020
Nono Martínez Alonso

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Pencil sketch of Nono Martínez Alonso.