An explanation

“How can people remember things if they don’t make movies or take photographs?”

I used that quote from French filmmaker Chris Marker from his 1982 film Sans Soliel – Sunless  to start a conversation with the late and great multimedia pioneer Dana Atchley.
His reply and that story is here. If you’re a web person, with your life up on your own website, it’s a bit scary.

I’m using this website to finally assemble my writing and image archives, which is slow but relatively easy. There are hard drives full of movie, sound, text and hypertext. Just pick the good ones. Hey! – and maybe add some new things about getting older (that’s harder because there are so many of those memories I don’t want to lose). And I need to explain why they are chosen, give them context. And time is short. This could end up somewhere between autobiography and incoherence, illustrated with some pretty pictures. Being around for as long as I have, it gives many of those older things some ‘worth’ just historically. As for character and meaning, I struggled to find that at the time, even avoiding editing those hundreds of 50 foot reels of 8mm film into a ‘structure’ but not knowing if I wanted to say anything profound or poetic. It is only looking back can you see if you were smart, or lucky enough, to capture something of the time that might speak to the ‘everyman/everywoman’.

This is also a collection in response to my filmmaker/photographer daughter who said “when you die, don’t expect me to put your archives in order, if you don’t sort it out before, it all goes out”. Bless her.

Fred Harden

Abbotsford, Melbourne
Updated August 2018

PS. The idea of creating (unintentionally) something that’s a parody of a memoir, and then losing the sensibilities to recognise that, fills me with fear. If your reading of this website stops mid-sentence, forgive me.