From Richard Terdiman’s Present Past: Modernity and the Memory Crisis:
“[Walter Benjamin] argued that the nineteenth-century city produced a particularly acute experience of disconnection and abstraction. Such abstraction defeats the associative structure of natural memory and induces in its place a different form of the habitus or technology of recollection that we could call ‘archival consciousness.’ Its principle would be the increasingly randomized isolation of the individual item of information, to the detriment of its relation to any whole, and the consignment of such information to what earlier I called ‘extrindividual’ mnemonic mechanisms. Such abstraction has been increasingly programmed by the practices of modern socio-economies since the industrial revolution.”
Is the structure of this 19th century “memory crisis” recapitulated within the further abstractions of memory within 21st century digital culture?