Crossing Time Zones

Time is a problem. By designating time as “problematic”, we raise the simple provocation that time is as amenable to discontinuity, change, modification, and becoming as space (see E. Grosz, Becomings, 1992). When considering Ilya Prigogine’s attempt to develop a framework that integrates time into scientific thought, the perspective shifts “From Being to Becoming” (1979) or from clock-time to duration. As Prigogine explicitly states in this book, the temporal dimension of theoretical concepts in science has largely been forgotten or overlooked unless they are related specifically to questions of speed; that is to the “theory of special relativity”. His perspective goes hand-in-hand with that of Alfred North Whitehead who claimed that: “On the whole, the history of philosophy supports Bergson’s charge, that the human intellect ‚ spatializes the universe; that is to say, it tends to ignore the fluency, and to analyse the world in terms of static categories.” (Process & Reality, 1969) The upcoming colloquium “Crossing Times Zones”, invites PhD? students, Post-Docs and Professors from the Centre for Cultural Studies (Goldsmiths University of London) and the Department for Cultural Anthropology (University of Frankfurt) to reflect upon the ways in which a temporal dimension or concern with time is integrated into their theoretical and/or empirical work. “Crossing Times Zones” encourages participants to shift the prevailing understandings of certain theoretical concepts by re-examining them through the particular problematic of time. This strategy may help to provide “new” entry points into “old” paradigms and thus also make them available to us again as innovative tools for critical thinking. The term “crossing” is used here to designate the modality of the colloquium as generative and process-based. Building upon the collective contributions of all participants, the colloquium is focused upon forms of research and proposition making that involve the development of renewed and/or alternate concepts of time. Immediately a wide-range of related categories begins to emerge from this conceptual re-thinking. Some of these include notions of transformation, the event, velocity, memory, stability, endurance etc. Certainly the current interest in process thinking, evolutionary theory, and irreversibility (the second law of thermodynamics) in conjunction with notions of the in-between, the -inter-, relationality, and fluency could all be interpreted as attempts to re-construct a concept of time by taking its durational dimensions into account. It’s perhaps not too surprising that many ideas arising from these lines of thought have also raised important questions within sociological and anthropological domains. For example: how do we talk about societies, cultures, and groups? Should we at all use the notion of the network or assemblage, and if so, which model and how? What is lost or gained when an emphasis is posited upon the durational as opposed to the discrete? Moreover, what happens to the categories of “the subject” and “the object” upon which such distinct identities were conferred and politically activated? Another track of potential inquiry for colloquium participants might focus upon the “empirical” construction of temporalities that come into play in the course of socio-cultural activities. For example, there has been considerable attention directed towards the problem of “time” as it relates to the behaviour of global interactive media in terms of progressive acceleration and speeding up. Other areas of analysis might explore the powerful regulatory regimes that organise all facets of life from the working day to leisure activities. This kind of time is subject to its formal spatialisation via agendas, timetables and geographic time zones to name but a few. It can be brought into a kind of visuality and cut into ever-diminishing pieces. How then might we critically reflect upon these ways of coding and encoding of time? Which is to say, how do we critically engage with forms of temporality that are empirically observable? Finally, how have artists and cultural producers understood the perception of time within temporal practices and how have they responded to its various provocations? What is a time-based practice exactly? As the second colloquium of FAMe? scholars “Crossing Times Zones” aims to build upon the momentum and fruitful discussions of our last meeting in Frankfurt, which examined “Spatial Dramaturgies”. By extending the problematics of space to equally complex considerations of the concepts of time we hope to open up new perspectives and generate ongoing dialogues between participants and their research practices and affiliated research centres.

Crossing Time Zones is a joint doctoral student colloquium by the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths College and the Research Network “Anthropology of the Medial” of the Insitute of Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology at the University of Frankfurt taking place in London around the 14th-16th of November.


Wednesday 14th of November

Graduate Centre Hatcham House 17-19 St. James Street, New Cross

4:15 Group Meeting

4:30-5:30 CTZ Introduction: Three takes on Time

  • Carsten Ochs
  • Alexander Schwinghammer
  • Susan Schuppli

5:30 Words of Welcome by Prof. Dr. John Hutnyk, acting Director of the Centre for Cultural Studies

6:00 Reception

Thursday 15th of November

11.00 - 12:50 Ben Pimlott Room 3/4

  • Julia Mahler “Towards a Micropolitics of Human Time”
  • Katharina Kinder “Speeding up the process?”
  • Yuk Hui “Time in Ubiquitous Media”

1:00 - 2:00 Council Room Baths (Laurie Grove)

  • Andy Christodoulou “The Time of Crisis”
  • Susan Schuppli “Time Lag”

2:00 - 4:00 Lunch Break

4:00 - 6:00 Graduate Centre Hatcham House

  • Gerald Straub "Instanteneity and Architecture"
  • Tom Bunyard “Debord and Time”
  • Nick Salazar “Carnival Phenomenology: Meaning the Moment in Bielsa”

7:00 Dinner Meze Mangal, 245 Lewisham Way

Friday 16th of November

11.30 - 1:00 Ben Pimlott Room 3/4

  • Daisy Tam "Slow Food"
  • Madoka Takashiro “The Phase of Time in Cell Animation”
  • Julie Woletz "Visualization of Time"

1:00 - 2:30

  • Jenifer Bajorek - Keynote Speaker (CCS) "Some Bodies Remembered"

2:30 - 3:30 Lunch Break

3:30 - 5:00

  • Carla Müller-Schulzke"Sounding Out Time: Transcultural Musical Styles in


  • James Burton "Strange Contemporaneity: Philip K. Dick's Diagrams of Time"

5:00 Closing Discussion

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