Shelley Hornstein ‘Losing Site’ Introduction

Hornstein’s introduction to her book ‘Losing Site’ starts by discussing the idea of a place, using the Eiffel Tower as an example. She notes that despite the Eiffel Tower existing in it’s generally understood location, the act of sending a postcard or a photograph bearing the image of the Tower can create the basis of an argument that it now exists simultaneously in multiple places. She goes on to discuss how memories are formed within or about certain places or locations, and questions whether the destruction of them is actually a removal of the place, or just an instance of it. She states her two arguments being that architecture as a physical object becomes a place we memorise, and that the place continues to exist despite the physical state of the architecture itself.
Hornstein notes that of the case studies she has chosen to explore later in the book, “Many are examples of Jewish memory” with further mention of her past work on post-Holocaust sites. With these studies she suggests that places are the memories that are formed within them are inseparable. Technology becomes the focus of her final chapter in terms of interactive applications that map out heritage and help the user gain “an understanding of physical place” while “losing site”.

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