Buenos Aires 2010: Memory Machines and Cybercities in Two Argentine Science Fiction Films

  • Geoffrey Kantaris


Memory seems inseparable from our experience of temporality. Memory is the precondition of human perception of the passage of time even as its engrammatic mechanisms seem to presuppose temporal difference and duration. But might it be possible to conceive of memory in spatial rather than predominantly temporal terms? After all, the creation of memories seems to involve the laying down or reinforcing of biochemical markers and neural pathways, of complex spatial networks within the brain, so that it would not be unreasonable to speculate that the experience of temporality is itself spatially encoded and produced. In cultural terms, the spatial image of the labyrinth has long provided an analogue for such mental processes, from the mythology of the Minotaur, whose redeemer, Theseus, must use prosthetic memory (in the form of a skein of wool) to retrace his way through the labyrinth, to Jorge Luis Borges’ ‘Funes, the Memorious’. In the Borges story, Funes’ infinite eidetic memory is a labyrinth, and is explicitly compared to the overwhelming of the imagination produced by the burgeoning metropolises of antiquity and modernity:

Babylon, London, and New York have overawed the imagination of men with their ferocious splendour; no one, in those populous towers or upon those surging avenues, has felt the heat and pressure of a reality as indefatigable as that which day and night converged upon the unfortunate [Funes] in his humble South American farmhouse.1


Collective Memory North American Free Trade Agreement Network Society Visual Culture Memory Machine 
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© Geoffrey Kantaris 2009

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  • Geoffrey Kantaris

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