Time-space vs Space-time

We inhabit time-spaces, which means spaces organized by logistical time. Take the metro, wait five minutes, two stops, out. Go to the office, the meeting is at 10 and I’m late, lunch break, five more hours, out. The hackathon will last 24 hours from now… 3, 2, 1, start! Etc. The factory is the most blatant example of time-space: a productive space functionally organized by the chronometer. In time-spaces, time is king. Among the effects of the restructuring of time-space, there is the conflation of time with the counting of time: time becomes measurement.

Technology contributes to convert spaces that were semi-protected from the dominance of time into time-spaces: I’m home and it’s Saturday, but I still have things to do: better using that productivity app to get things done before noon (the todo list is just another instrument to measure time). The byproduct of time-spaces is anxiety: you think you’re running across a space, but you’re actually adjusting your pace to a specific temporality, you’re surfing time. Anxiety emerges from the chasm between one’s pace and the temporality suggested or imposed by the spaces they inhabit.

How to overcome this anxiety? One way is to create the conditions for space-times to emerge, which is to say non-logistical temporalities fostered by productive or non-productive spaces. There, space, with the totality of its relational qualities, is king. Space-time is the so-called “flow” (or zone) on steroids, that is, flow existing outside the person and encompassing a group. Maybe a good example of space that produces space-time is the church, since its rituals produce a sense of collective involvement and focus. This example is somehow ironic, given that the church bell is an early example of time that organizes space. So, maybe better propose the workshop as an instance of space-time generation. With the risk of romanticizing a bit, the workshop suggest an idea of timelessness, which is to say time that is not counted/measured, thus time in its most genuine state.

Also published on Medium.


Silvio Lorusso

Silvio Lorusso is a designer witouth qualities, an artst without a gallery and a writer without spell cheker. Get his first book, entitled Entreprecariat, here!


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