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  • aghajanian2000

Sacred Artifacts in the Era of the Digitalized Family

Updated: Jan 30

This essay, appearing in Genealogies of Modernity, serves as a companion piece to my earlier work, "The Aura of Our Mechanical Arts", continuing my reflections on the significance of family photographs and their changing nature over time. My essay turns on a special photo album from my earliest years, which I use as a jumping-off point to explore the transition from physical photo albums to digital archives and the implications this has had on our connection to the past. Here I emphasize the tangible and authentic nature of physical prints, which carry a unique history and show the passing of time. I think of my old family snapshots as examples of the sacramental nature that is often embodied in our material culture. I include my thoughts on the way digital images offer convenience and perceived permanence but lack the vulnerability and emotional connection of physical prints. It's an essay in which I ponder the power of personal photos to connect with the past, which can ultimately lead to contemplation of the infinite and divine love that underlies the cherished memories they hold.

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