After Time: Permanence, Recursion, and Prevention
This research project starts from the assumption that the social changes connected to the concept »control-society« (Deleuze) led to a profound transformation of temporal organization. The project’s objective is to discuss the relevant consequences for perceptual processes, possibilities of action, and artistic techniques and strategies. Our guiding claim is that the mentioned transformation and its consequences can best be described by means of unpacking the following three concepts: permanence, recursion, and prevention.
Structuring principles of presence, past, and future as well as disciplinary pulsings (for instance of beginnings and endings or of working times and leisure times) increasingly fade into the background: everything is permanently available, and events happen recursively in successions along secured pathways. The separation of time from motion paradoxically appears as a loss of presence (standstill), yet at the same time also appears as presence’s global delimitation (globalization). According to Deleuze, the experience of time in control-society is characterized by the fact that one seemingly never comes to an end. The temporality of such a society is recursively organized by control mechanisms and networks. Moreover, the medial synchronization and coupling of heterogeneous temporal processes creates a temporal milieu of permanence. Finally, due to the fact that our contemporary world is fundamentally determined by networked technologies, new forms of subjectivity enter the stage and make control-time appear as a preventive temporality. While the disciplining of subjects in the context of spaces of enclosure, such as schools, factories, or barracks, was characterized by sequences of discrete durations, control can neither be located nor is structured by differentiated processes. Control delimitates the time of subjects and turns it into an unbroken duration and into the rhythm of a permanent functioning.
We assume that these techniques of subjectivation have been leading to new modalities of formation and performance in theater and performance art. From the perspective of an aesthetics of the precarious and the impersonal, we will spell out the subversive potential of these modalities. What is more, we will discuss works of so-called »slow-cinema«. By critically turning against the narratives and rhythms determined by the circulation of images, such works manifest filmic strategies that focus on time as a process of relationalities, translations, and metabolisms. Finally, we will also show how contemporary post-digital art allows one to experience »time after time«, and how such art puts its own »intrinsic-times« into confrontation with control-time. On the basis of our reflections on the relation between time and technology, we will discuss the possibility of an aesthetics of discontinuity and its potential for resistance against control-society’s temporal regime. The main goal of this research project, then, is to investigate control-society’s organizational forms from a socio-political, cultural, and philosophical perspective, and thereby to produce the necessary tools for describing newer developments of time-based arts, such as film/video, theater/performance art, and post-digital art.