Disorientation has temporal dimension, as well. Changes start to feel more abrupt and unexpected. Time dissipates into small durations that are ceaselessly recombined. These recombinations loosen feeling of history, which may look like losses of memory. On the other hand, it is the same temporal structure as in TV-series where time leaps back and forth, extends, or shrinks. Reconfigurations of collective memory are determined by communications structure. They don’t simply erase images of the past, but transform the memories. Our memories of the past, are defined by the present, ‘the Now’ with its tides and ebbs of formalization, creative destruction, - those forces that permeate psychic, social, technical, urban systems and ceaselessly producing space, time, and subjectivity.
Most of destruction done by global digital capitalism is in the name of subsequent creation, transformation of reality. This drive for creative destruction is determined by logic of media, finance, marketing, mass fantasies, fears, and military industry. It often presents itself as a response to disorientation, as rebirth of space where something new has to be built after the old is demolished. This utopian pulsation is that which energizes gentrification projects, and economy of enrichment (as Luc Boltanski calls it) when elements of historical memory are reconstructed, their cultural value ‘enriched’, and turned into market form. Creative destruction is a condition for economy of enrichment. Or, as a form of answer to disorientation in mass societies, it can yield to totalitarian impulse.
What looks like erasure of memory might be rewriting of it. All technics is sedimentary memory. More technology means more mediated memory. Memory is less and less considered something individual, like an imprint of experience in the soul, rather an industrial product. And yet, it forms the basis of identity. It is only because memory is active anticipatory structure of predispositions, not passive container. This activation of archive is but one side of the digital technological mutation. Another side is reinvention, or transfiguration of common places. It makes collective memory not just active, but kind of plastic, mutable and open to the future.