Technologies of History is a case-study, an opportunity to put into practice some of the arguments I have been developing over the past few years thinking about the entangled relationships among media, history and memory.
- Steve Anderson, Author's Statement
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The main interface of Technologies of History is a kind of visual amplifier which turns up the gain on the unruly tensions inherent in the process of making (and re-making) history. Computer vision (in the form of Adobe AfterEffects' motion tracking feature) has been applied to each video clip to generate motion paths as the software attempts to keep track of details in the field of view. When applied in visual effects work, this technique is used to achieve an exact match between the motion of physical objects captured on video and graphic elements created in the computer. Here, we've deliberately used the function in a haphazard, sloppy and error-prone fashion to point up the impossibility of retrieving actuality from media representations. The resulting motion paths of disparate clips are superimposed to form a palimpsest—a time-dependent, frame-accurate, pixel-perfect palimpsest, depicting itself (and nothing else) with complete fidelity.