Biology Lab

EGMT 1510: Time and Memory in the Arts


We have all experienced a long-forgotten memory suddenly triggered by something seemingly ordinary: a taste, a smell, a song that brings the past rushing back. How do artists, composers, and filmmakers utilize this phenomenon of sudden, involuntary memory to create art?

In this course we will ask: How do artworks manipulate the depiction of the passing of time? How reliable are our memories, and does implementing timelines in storytelling make our narratives more or less reliable? In what different ways do both personal and public spaces facilitate the process of remembering? How have artists sought to capture the fleeting nature of time through painting, and how have they sought to freeze time in photography? How does repetition in music incite memory to help structure a four-hour opera? How are words and names used strategically as an efficient way to conjure up memories? Is there such a thing as present time, or is there only past and future?