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Time and Memory

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Time and Memory

Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

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Time and Memory explores the many ways in which the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences collection reflects upon the concept of time – as a scientific quality to be measured, and as perceived and experienced by people. The Museum provides an alternative lens through which we can consider our world from outside the tighter time frames of modern life, such as financial years and parliamentary terms.

The Museum holds extensive collections of time-keeping and measuring technologies and it has custodianship of Sydney Observatory, which was set up to undertake scientific time-keeping. The Museum also holds significant collections of information storage technologies, including photographs, recordings and digital media technologies. Indeed, the Museum itself is a memory device, with the collection objects acting as anchors for stories.

Time and Memory features personal observations and recollections by high-profile Australian writers Samuel Wagan Watson and Vanessa Berry, who have researched and responded to the Museum’s collection, considering the themes from several perspectives. An introductory essay by Principal Curator Matthew Connell examines the history of time-keeping and measurement, our changing understanding of time, the issues around digital memory storage, as well as the concept of the Museum and its collection as a memory device. The book also features shorter essays on the significance of selected objects from MAAS authors, including Director Dolla Merrillees, Director Curatorial, Collections & Exhibitions Peter Denham, Curator Campbell Bickerstaff and other MAAS curators.

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