After several centuries where social and economic life has been dominated by an intensified drive towards efficiency and growth it is time to consider where this road is taking us. It is now clear that the acceleration of social processes and the growth paradigm of modern economies is directly undermining our individual and collective health as well as destroying the natural world on which we depend and are an integral part of. We work to further the understanding that all beings, things and processes have their own internal time – or temporality – according to which they unfold. We see grasping and respecting inherent temporalities as fundamental if we are going to have thriving relationships.
Time culture started as a conversation about how time seems to go faster and faster in our (post)modern lives. Our mutual exploration of this, and the answers we found, were truly fascinating and as the conversation widened we found that it resonated with others too. We all relate to time, not necessarily the abstract, philosophical question about what time is, but the lived experience of time at work, at home, away or online.
Around the time this conversation took off, Morten was writing his thesis on Time, Art, and Society in which he explores the basic insight that when we engage with a piece of art we pay attention in a way we don’t always do with other objects. The composition of an art piece, its inherent timing, cannot be forced to fit whatever our personal sense of time may be. If we want to really engage with it, we have to surrender our immediate sense of time and listen.
The question arose: what happens if we take the kind of attention we bring to bear on a painting, a symphony or a poem into our everyday surroundings? If we try to listen to the inherent time of our neighbourhood, a nearby woodland, or our own bodies, could we be reclaiming our sense of time so that it didn’t always feel so fast? We encountered a multiplicity of timescales, of temporalities, which made mockery of the idea that there is such a thing as a singular, universal, abstract Time.
The questions this opened up were far-ranging.
As others were drawn into the dialogue, we sensed a need for a place to have this conversation publicly. And so we decided on this website as a platform for dialogue around the role of time in our lifeworlds. The aim is to create a space for sharing knowledge and perspectives on the relation between time and how we organise our lives, create social institutions and use technology. We hope this will contribute to building a new time culture where we collectively hone the life skills we need to lead balanced and flourishing lives in the networked society.
You are invited to this dialogue. We are always looking for new conversation partners and our blog is open for guest posts, discussion and comments. We publish a mixture of time analyses, interviews, dialogues, and reflections on experiencing time in the networked society. We are currently building the website and getting parts of Time, Art and Society translated for publication on the site.
You can reach us by leaving a comment here or emailing: info [at] time-culture [dot] net.