Robert Scobey

Region: South

My work ponders memory loss. We inhabit spaces where voids are filled with nothing; they overflow with emptiness. Gaps always have placeholders. Information travels silently into invisible clouds.

Recently, while uploading home videos onto my computer, my camera phone died mid-transfer and erased my wife and toddler. The half-copied file-remnants on my computer wouldn’t open. After some googling, I got them to play. The new files would stutter and then explode into unpredictable arrays of colorful digital garbage that were beautiful and illegible. Neuroscience tells us that our archived memories are re-recorded and altered each time we recall them. Here was a recording of something I’d seen, a moment I was sad to lose that was uncannily reanimated . . . and at the end of all of that, I was looking not at a recording but at a memory.

Once, for a laugh I surprise-jumped into a swimming pool. The smartphone I forgot to take out of my pocket died instantly. Sometimes, I think of all the images lost in that pool. They were some of my favorites. Even though I can’t remember what they look like.