I’ve always thought of time as granular, comprised of individual moments that accumulate like falling snow, or droplets of water 1 Maybe this is because the thought of being bound to a single timeline was terrifying to me, given my own lineage and the early marks on my history. Scientifically we’ve evolved our communal understanding of time to incorporate the concept of a spacetime continuum. By definition a continuum is a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although variation, distinction and extremes are possible when viewed from a distance.
As a participant in contemporary society, it feels near impossible to escape a self-reflexive perspective upon our own experiences in reality. Extending Lacan’s mirror phase, we have more ways than ever to catch reflective glimpses and alternate perspectives upon the events and experiences that comprise our lives. It has become easier and easier to create degrees of distance from these experiences that allow us to see them in vastly different ways without becoming entirely detached. We are presented with technological advances which allow us to capture, store and represent documentation of our experiences, images and video clips that stand in for and supplement our memories. Where emerging technologies and social media connect with our lives we find a near continuous interrogation and presentation of our past, present, and anticipated future. Our biographies or personal narratives are in a constant state of self-construction (there also exists a shared, accessible communally constructed biography as well, but this is ultimately editable by us too).
We all have our routines and find a degree of comfort in these sets of cyclically repeated actions. In our daily life, time appears to pass at a normal pace and we use markers like the start of the workday, weekends, meals, waking and sleeping times gauge the rhythm of things. The alarm goes off and we walk dutifully across the floor to the shower before dressing for the day.
Our present experiences in time often draw us out and away from ourselves. Dividing our attention and creating gaps in our perception; we experience disruptions “between our presence in the world and the various levels of a certain anesthesia in our consciousness that, at every moment, inclines us to see-saw into more or less extensive absences.”
Fragmentation, complexity, multiplicity, turbulence & chaos could be used to discuss and define the state of social experience, art, aesthetics, culture or politics in our current moment. These changes in our modern life have given rise to new perceptions regarding the concept of time and our experience of it. Moving between the multiplicity of time flows that surround us has an eroding effect...