The Jonesonian Institute
5 February 2009
The Jonesonian Institute (Huia, West Auckland) is concerned with the museum and its archive as carrier of memory for our society, especially what we choose to remember, and why we make that choice. The role of curator as gatekeeper of the memories is a vital factor in what is selected for preservation by the museum.
The museum contains a significant collection of donated childhood memories that are available for viewing and research. Museum researchers are studying the ways that memories could be preserved. If memories could be transplanted it would be possible for everyone to have had a happy childhood. There are many other interesting possibilities from this line of research. Could nightmares be excised?
Other areas of research include; is it possible that memory is designed to allow us to forget, are the memories of identical twins similar, do artists dream artistically, what happens as memories are lost in dementia, and can stray memories be captured? Think of the saving of petrol if day dreaming could become real. Can the stream of consciousness be bottled? What do animals remember and do plants have anything resembling a memory?
Wider ranging interests of staff include do tombstone angels have a memory of another reality that they can sometimes access? (See the image of an angel transfiguring captured by the museum photographer).
The curator is interested in the shimmer of wonder that lies between truth that is stranger than fiction and the fiction that seems so wonderful that it must be true.