Friday, December 30, 2011

Collecting and Immortality

I've often thought that collecting is the first, and possibly most important, step in preservation.

About a year ago Preservation & Conservation Administration News posted my "A Conservator Ponders Impermanence" where I boldly (foolishly) stated
Personally, I tend to think the quest for permanence, or the unacknowledged reality of impermanence, is rooted in our fear of our own mortality and the fear that we won‘t be remembered (preserved) when we are dead and gone.
This morning I was glancing at the New York Times online and noticed their Room for Debate section was about collecting. Most of the entries were about the thin line between collecting and hoarding - which doesn't interest me much - but the first piece by Philipp Blom, Objects of Desire and Dreams, caught my attention. It is very short so just go read it, but I'll quote one line.
The objects and their organization bind us to something larger than ourselves, and as religion was born out of a fear of death and the wish of eternal life, collecting expresses the same fundamental urges.
I don't know that I have anything more to add - just that I'm intrigued and pleased that my year begins and ends with considering the ultimate motivations for our collecting and preserving endeavors.