2023 ISST Conference, Yamaguchi (alphabetical order)

#2 Unwinding Time: Measuring the Distance from Now to the Future (Olga Ast)

This proposal is for an interactive presentation that seeks to examine the history of visual interpretations of time through the current day; and of their connection to how we relate to our local social spaces as well as to our larger environment. The presentation can be supplemented with a poster artwork on visual metaphors of time.

One of the ways that we control our environment is by codifying our perception of time in representational images that attract us, initiate attachments, and then move us from one attachment to another.

As a society, we have gradually rejected the pace of slow adaptation to our environment. We have moved away from representing and measuring time by natural, cyclical rhythms, and have instead moved to impose standardized, linear units and metaphors when describing it. More recently, our celebration of invention, technology and disruption has unmoored our understanding of time even further from its ancient roots.

This presentation will address these themes by focusing on visual representations of the future, and discussing our perception of the temporal distance to it. Specifically, how this imaginary distance to the future has recently started to seem shorter, and we ourselves now seem to move faster toward it.

Comparing images from mythology and religion, science fiction and video games, propaganda and advertising, I will follow along our historical route from measuring natural time cycles to synthetic straight lines; and will argue that our contemporary linear visualization of time is not only symbolic, but causal to our shifting relationship with our environment.


#5 “Time hath made me his numbering clock”: Clockwork Men in Literary and Popular Culture (Adam Barrows)

The image of a man turning into a clock has haunted literary and popular culture for the last four hundred years. One of the earliest and most powerful examples of the trope is in Act V, Scene V of Shakespeare’s Richard II (c. 1595). Richard, deposed by Bolingbroke, laments that time has made of him “a numbering clock.” Composed not long after the invention of the portable pocket watch, Shakespeare’s play demonstrates an anxiety over the reduction of man to that which can be measured on a timepiece. This paper surveys the trope of the clockwork man from Shakespeare’s Elizabethan age to the modernist era and beyond. I explore two modernist examples of the trope: E.V. Odle’s The Clockwork Man (1923) as well as a scene from D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love (1920), suggesting that their treatment of mechanized humanity relates to turn of the century efforts to globally synchronize and standardize temporal regimes. Finally, I explore the postwar example of a DC comic book supervillain named the “Clock King,” who adorns his costume with clock dials and whose traumatic backstory involves the failure of mechanical devices to accurately measure human existence. Appearing first in 1960 as a nemesis of Green Arrow but persisting in rebooted DC franchises into the twenty-first century (including a stint in the Suicide Squad), the “Clock King” provides an interesting case study of evolving anxieties about the relationship between temporal measurement and human endeavor. Bookended with two examples of “clockwork kings,” this paper charts the relationship between a persistent cultural trope and the technological/sociocultural history of time measurement.


#109 Key Note Speech: tbd (Michelle Bastian#109Key Note Speech: Witnessing Unseasonality from your Doorstep: How citizen scientists are taking the measure of changing ecological times (Michelle Bastian)

While local weather can always be unpredictable, the seasons, by contrast, can seem a bit dull. As archaeologist Michael Given has argued, they can appear in culture and literature as “the tired formula of a repeating seasonal cycle, a there-and-back walk up and down the hill”. But as literary scholar Sarah Dimick has suggested, this once reliable seasonal ‘form’ is becoming disordered as climate breakdown challenges the taken-for-granted round, changing not just weather patterns, but the seasonal indicators that we glean from the behaviour of the plants and animals around us. Working out whether a behaviour is untimely, or within the expected seasonal range, is part of the job of phenologists, those people who study yearly lifecycle timing within ecosystems. Since the late 1990s phenology has demonstrated ways that climate change is shifting ecosystem timings with the UK Spring Index showing an advance of 8 days since the early 1900s. The underlying data used to measure this change is provided by long-term citizen scientists for the Woodland Trust’s Nature’s Calendar, who have kept track of their local environment across multiple decades. In this keynote presentation, I discuss findings from interviews with these recorders and particularly how their sense of seasonality is given form by their close attention to place.


#7 How does the Anthropocene affect our measure of time (and sense of space)? Contrasting a Bourdieuian and Schatzkian perspective of action, temporality and spatiality (Alistair Bowden)

Geological time, so often measured in millions of years (or billions of years if one’s interest is the Precambrian), is distant stuff. It is a pure, natural science measure; de-humanised and beyond hermeneutic interpretation; remote, frigid, actual.

The Anthropocene challenges this view. As the duration of Earth’s history where humanity has affected (adversely) the geosphere, biosphere and atmosphere, this new epoch places us all into the geological timescale and changes our sense of our own temporal situation.

Many philosophers and social theorists have conceived of action as deeply embedded in time; a simultaneous coming from past actions, acting in the moment, and going towards some future desired set of actions (e.g. those following in the footsteps of Heidegger, 1927). Two contemporary theorists emphasize dichotomous poles. Bourdieu (1977; 1990), with his lifelong interest in the stability of social class, emphasizes the former pole; coming from the past. In contrast, Schatzki (2002) emphasizes teleology; a constant goal-oriented thrusting into an aspirational future. Bourdieu and Schatzki also represent different views of the relationship between temporality and spatiality. For Bourdieu, they are distinct phenomena, and in his dichotomous view he focuses on temporality. For Schatzki, they are intimately wound together as timespace; a human journey that is forever coming from some place, being in a place, and going towards some other place (Schatzki, 2010).

Drawing on both Bourdieu and Schatzki, this paper will explore the impact of the Anthropocene – as a new measure of time – on action within a temporal and spatial context. It will highlight some strengths of both perspectives, but also some limitations given the new epoch in which we find ourselves dwelling.


Bourdieu, P. (1977). Outline of a theory of practice. (trans. Nice, R.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bourdieu, P. (1990). The logic of practice. (trans. Nice, R.). Cambridge: Polity Press.

Heidegger, M. (1927) Being and time. (trans. Macquarrie, J. & Robinson, E., 1962). Oxford: Blackwell.

Schatzki, T. R. (2002). The site of the social: A philosophical account of the constitution of social life and change. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press.

Schatzki, T.R. (2010) The timespace of human activity: on performance, society, and history as indeterminate teleological events. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books.


#11 La perte du temps: Michaël Levinas’s Rebonds on the plane of immanence (Nathan Cobb)

For French spectralist composer Michaël Levinas (1949–), the early 1990s were a period of significant innovation in his approach to the structuring of musical time. Through improvisation and cyclical or non-linear compositional models, Levinas sought to exclude teleological developmental processes from his works. As a consequence, many pieces from this period express and partition time in a manner that impedes chronometric measurement. In this paper, I apply the related concepts of “virtual” and “actual”—presented by Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze in A Thousand Plateaus (1987)—to demonstrate how Levinas’s chamber piece, Rebonds (1993), resists a linear conception of time by prioritizing the work’s quality of immanence.

In a lecture about his compositional approach to Rebonds, Levinas states that “All that is orchestration is based on the principle of ‘time’…This is the foundation of the relationship between polyphony and timbre and even individual melody” (Levinas 2017, 39:12). Taking this as my starting point, I then show how the recursive structure of Rebonds (Figure 1) is especially conducive to Levinas’s desire to dissolve the boundaries between musical parameters (pitch, rhythm, timbre, etc.) by recasting them as functions of time. Deleuze and Guattari’s conception of the immanent plane, on which “There are only relations of movement and rest, speed and slowness” (1987, 266), provides a way of thinking about this parametric continuum, on which the difference between rhythm and pitch, for instance, is fundamentally a difference of velocity.Finally, by elucidating Levinas’s comments regarding the tension between a work’s “fixed” compositional idea and its “expansion” through time (its virtual and actual expressions), I explore the possibility that music “fabricates different times” that can be measured only in relation to one another, and only through the immanent participation of the listener (Deleuze and Guattari 1987, 349).


#12 Polychronic urban transitions: organizing and measuring the timescapes of the climate crisis (Claudio Coletta)

Urbanisation acts as an accelerating factor of the Anthropocene. Cities are both Anthropocene agents and at the forefront to address climate change challenges, as prominent sites where modern clock time is questioned and repurposed vis à vis multiple planetary timescapes. For example, given the recently adopted EU Green Deal, different European cities set different slightly timelines and targets to address climate change challenges, ranging from being carbon-neutral by 2035 (Helsinki), to being fossil-fuel free by 2040 (Stockholm), and being carbon-neutral by 2050 (Barcelona). Time and timing are inherently present both in transnational and national policies, in local urban adaptation and mitigation, as well as in the very concept of urban and ecological “transition”. As urban transitions and climate adaptation and mitigation response are increasingly digitized in many areas of urban management, time is also materially embedded in digital infrastructures, and in turn shapes the temporality of transition processes. Real-time data on mobility, transports, air and water quality, energy, and other services is made available to inform everyday users, urban managers, as well as decision-makers and support short and long term planning. The socio-technical and data assemblage of smart urbanism – its algorhythms, realtimeness, and casting practices – thus interacts with the measured futures produced by the vast machine of big data, models and simulations that allows projecting human and environmental conditions in the next decades and centuries. How is time operationalized in urban adaptation and mitigation processes? How digitization affects the temporality of the urban response to the climate crisis? How is time manufactured by measurements and how does it relate the management of transitions processes?

With this paper I aim to shed light on the material, infrastructural, and mundane aspects of the multiple temporalities enacted by the interplay of measurement and management in urban transitions. I will investigate into European and Japanese cases of urban transitions to explore the polychronic aspects of measuring and managing urban transitions, the co-existence and interference of a variety of more-than-human temporalities, especially embedded in networked digital infrastructures. Drawing on STS approaches and qualitative methods, I will look at transitions as translations, not a linear step from an unsustainable past to a viable future but a relation that reshapes and reshuffles past, present and future and articulates non-linear tempos and speed.


#13 On Temporal Measure in Late Antique and Medieval Philosophical Theology (Dennis Costa) This paper details a remarkable consistency in the West, from the 4th through the 13th centuries, in thinking about time as measure. Pre-modern thought would take issue with our dominant, contemporary intellectual milieux for creating far too great a separation between time as a subjective experience and the typical references in modern physics to an objectively existing, ‘physical space-time.’ For early Christian philosophy in both Greek and Latin, such a separation ignores the fact that the timing of human, psychosomatic consciousness finds itself immersed in a time that is relative to all that is material, first by its own, apparently entropic embodiment and then by its urgent gesture towards another person (in an ethical sense) and towards the rest of the cosmos of things both proximate and remote (in a scientific and/or a cultic sense). Albert the Great (13th c) insisted that the primary measure of the when be a moral measure, as the cum tempus sit (whenever it’s the right time) of any honest word or decision. Such a time is not just one among a succession of similarly measureable or quantifiable moments; the temporal event that is morally opportune is a quality, both really existing and finally unmeasureable. Gregory of Nyssa (4th c) builds upon the ordinary expressions of temporal mensuration in Greek: kronos (a split or division), aeion (a present, and thence, a series of presents), kairos (an opportune moment, as per Albertus, above). Gregory understands these three kinds of measure as being in real (not just theoretical) continuity, one with another. Any temporal or spatio-temporal division, proportion or ‘gap’ (diastema) may both measure some thing (as especially in the sciences) and be the occasion of an ongoing interpretation of that thing in relation to the rest of reality. Scientia (a quantitative mathesis or activity of material measuring), properly understood, is the ordinary occasion of Sapientia (a qualitative pathesis or passivity of psychic reception)whichkairotic event was represented mythopoetically in the Hebrew Bible as aeveternal Wisdom, “ordained from the [aeion or] everlasting, from the beginning before anything was fashioned . . .” Gregory calls the non-anticipatable, yet still temporal event of insight, or of contemplation, or of cultic worship, a “participated eternity.” A number counts and also begins to account for. With regards to both number and the number of time, the apparently infinite count (so attractive to modern thinkers), discovers its finitude, according to Albertus, by being bound up by another measure which admits of no measure, no ‘gap,’ at all. Albertus calls that paradoxical measure eternity and identifies it with God, the ‘fashioner’ of everything that exists, including time.

Presentation of these materials at the Yamaguchi conference will also include reference to:

–a big exception to the above: late medieval nominalism;

–‘quantum leaps’ of things in aeveternal time;

–measuring in Augustine’s de Musica

–the search for a measure of all the ways we measure the real: reality as “participatory.” The sciences together with the arts (the quadrivium together with the trivium) keep on promising more because, to quote the Cambridge philosopher-theologian John Milbank, “All there is [including time] only is because it is more than it is.”


#14 Title to be determined (Andrew Cozzens)

Chronological time, while clearly useful for certain purposes of civilization, is at the center of a problematic phenomenon that Jan Baars calls the “colonization of the life course,” which dominates the organizational and institutional actions that govern how changes in human lives are understood. This colonization not only reduces qualitative, lived experience to abstract quantities of time void of contextual meaning, but also causes harm in cases where division of a life into chronological fragments ties one’s days to budgetary dollars, as within the field of gerontology and healthcare.

Luckily, there is an alternative. While chronological time is helpful in finding a time to meet, it is narrative time that gives meaning to the meeting and imparts a past and future onto the concept of “lateness” in the first place. The distinction between chronological time and narrative time, which is related to the “chronos-kairos” distinction, the distinction between atomic “now” and what Baars calls “the richest, final now”, is the subject of my artwork.


#16 Measuring in chronobiology – how to measure the rhythms of life in daily activities? (Kersin Cuhls)

The German chronobiology project CIRCADIA started in 2021 to investigate how circadian rhythms, i.e. the daily rhythms of humans controlled by “inner clocks”, are influenced by new and variously combinable technologies in everyday life. Background: The socio-technical change towards the penetration of the living environment with more and more – especially digital – devices is proceeding insidiously and got another hype during the Covid-19 pandemic. This leads to a constant de-structuring of everyday life, with the consequence of changes in sleep time and a de-rhythmisation of the biology and psychology of many people. People are unaware of structures in time, timing and their biological rhythms. During the pandemic, some had more time (during the lock-downs no work, unemployment, better organization of their personal time), whereas others had to work more and longer time (see surveys of our previous project ReZeitKon for the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research).

Through a systematic stocktaking and foresight (literature analysis, horizon scanning, online survey, explorative workshops, impact assessment) in CIRCADIA, we take a short- (5 years) and a long-term look (10 and more years) at the potential effects of an increased use of digital, often light-emitting devices and the associated opportunities as well as risks, e.g. for human health. On the basis of our results, both prevention and solution strategies for existing problems as well as new scope for design will be developed until the end of the project in 2023. The contribution will raise the question of measuring time in the case of daily lives and the rhythms of people and present results of a representative survey that tried to measure the rhythms in daily life on the one hand and match chronotypes and changes in the use of technology since 2019 on the other hand.


#17 The Propagation of Uncertainty (Emily DiCarlo)

For the past two years, my research has centred on how our accelerated, networked world relies on the foundation of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). With airports, stock markets and telecommunications operating through precise temporal orchestration, UTC reigns authoritatively omniscient. Curiously though, the world’s most accurate clock exists only on paper in an official report known as Circular T. Anything but absolute, time is constructed from 82 asynchronous, atomic clocks in national time labs around the world. While it takes several weeks to algorithmically sort the localized time discrepancies at the International Bureau for Weights and Measures (BIPM) in Paris, France, clock time is still routinely finalised through face-to-face negotiation. Ultimately, time is a human estimation of potential errors and a calculation of unknowns.

For my most recent creative project, I partnered with the National Research Council (NRC) in Ottawa, the only contributing Canadian location to the larger UTC network. Working with Dr. Marina Gertvolf, the team lead at the Meteorology, Frequency & Time Department, I conducted multiple research trips that resulted in a three-channel video installation called The Propagation of Uncertainty. As a meditation on the temporal body at odds with time’s infrastructure, I also produced Circular T: A Collection of Uncertainties, an experimental text work containing a blend of speculative fiction, poetry and data derived from BIPM’s official time standard reports.

In addition to exhibiting my video installation, I propose to deliver a presentation on how the performative body becomes a measurement tool by drawing on a diverse spectrum of anomalous temporal phenomena such as geologist Michel Siffre’s discovery of circadian rhythms during his isolation experiments; philosopher William James’s measurement of the moment in what he termed the “specious present”; and neuroscientist David Eagleman’s exploration into the “oddball effect,” a phenomenon when unexpected events perceptually stretch time.


#18 Isis, Osiris, and Egyptian Conceptions of Temporality in the Roman Empire (Melissa Dowling)

In ancient Egypt, the accurate measurement of time was necessary for the proper performance of rituals and festivals. The Egyptians developed star calendars for telling time at night and built shrines on temple roofs for marking sunrise, sunset, and the rising planets. They outfitted temples with water and sun clocks. Two chief state deities, Isis and Osiris, were identified as the creators of time and eternity. Isis was understood to be both the moon and the star Sothis/Sirius, whose heliacal rising marked the new year. Osiris was equated with the constellation Orion, which disappeared below the horizon for seventy days annually; its reappearance signaled the rebirth of the god. All of these elements indicate the centrality of time measurement in Egyptian religion.

After Julius Caesar imposed the Egyptian solar calendar on Rome and the first emperor Augustus absorbed Egypt as a province, worship of the traditional Egyptian gods spread widely. Temples and artifacts dedicated to Isis and Osiris (Serapis for Greek and Roman worshipers) are found from Sudan to Scotland, from Syria to Portugal. New worshipers adopted the Egyptian cultic calendar and adapted rituals to their own needs but maintained Isis and Osiris as regulators of time and eternity.

Egyptian temporal structures profoundly affected Roman conceptions of time. During the Late Republic and the High Empire (the first century BCE to the third century CE), Romans became increasingly concerned with temporal mensuration and made use of Egyptian techniques. Egyptian festival calendars, water clocks, sundials, and Nilometers appear frequently in temples and in the decoration of private homes. Roman worshipers believed that the Egyptian gods offered happiness during their finite lives, carefully measured day by day and year by year, and a blissful eternity in celebration among the stars. The paper will be illustrated with PowerPoint slides.


#19 The Physical Representation of Time in Japanese, Korean, and American Comic Arts (Castien Dowling)

As comic arts have told increasingly longer stories, so the depictions of the passage of time have grown. Visual representations of time have evolved with new comic technologies. Technological advancements in the comic world make available new ways of illustrating time as well as facilitating the cross-cultural exchange of visual conventions of time.

The passage of time in comic arts is shown through the space between panels, called “gutters,” and the lines of the panels themselves. The sizing, line quality, and shape of the gutters and panel borders fluctuate. In early American comic arts, gutters and panels are all similar, creating the need for textual clarifications such as “three days later” and “meanwhile, in another part of the city.” In the same period, Japanese artists already had visual cues for this. In America, little experimentation was allowed after the 1954 American Comic Code. Line quality and gutters remained largely the same until the globalization of the internet brought manga (Japanese comics) into the public eye.

Korea was also watching its computer screens, taking the leap from digitizing manhwa (Korean comics) to creating and publishing them entirely online. Japanese and American artists were attempting to do the same, but did not have as much success because they did not change the format of their comics to better suit the media of the scrolling internet. Since the mid 2010s, Korean webcomics have consistently been the most read webcomics around the world, combining American and Japanese art and gutter styles to create something new for an infinite vertical composition.

I will examine the depictions of time in Japanese, Korean, and American comics and how they have influenced each other, illustrating my ideas with historical and popular favorites as well as work from my own practice as a professional comics artist.


#21 Time and the importance of silence in measuring time (Joed Elich)

In music, silence between notes is of utmost importance for the interpretation of a piece. Rest duration is the timing of silence in a measure which can shorter and longer. It is the length of the pause in a piece of music. But how to measure silence? Not every composer uses the same length of notes and even the suggested tempi can be interpreted differently. Conductors are known to have their own interpretation. This paper will address those questions with reference to music, speech and sound.

If the lockdown has taught us anything, it’s that silence is more important than we knew. Silence has good days when we search for reflection and calmness and bad days with endless waiting. All of this has its parallels in music. Music and silence are intertwined, but the length of silence is a difficult thing: it can be annoying and comforting. Composers play with those feelings. To a normal man, time is what comes after the beginning. To composer Anton Bruckner, time was what comes after the end.

Silence is only valuable in music when it is contextualised by what comes before and after it. When the music is just providing a background, an intentional period of silence is indistinguishable from an accidental temporary disconnection between the phone and the speaker.

Using examples from classical and modern music from Bach to Schönberg, from Monteverdi to Richard Strauss and from Pink Floyd to Adele, silence and the measure of time will be discussed.


#22 Time, Measurement, and Money (Frank Engster and Andreas Schröder)

In capitalist modernity, measurement and quantification are not only constitutive for the concept of nature in natural science, but also for society, which by the same technique becomes a “second nature”. The technique to measure and quantify social relations in an analogous way to natural relations, however, is money.

We want to show by developing the main functions of capitalist money how it constitutes an “economy of time” (Marx). By its functions, money becomes the technique to measure and quantify the same social relations which money, at once, actualizes and (re) presents, mediates and circulates and, first of all, valorizes by its conversion into the elements of production and by its overarching capitalist movement. This leads to an entanglement between the measuring money and the measured social relations, and by this entanglement, money becomes an interface between a naturalized physical time of “first nature” and a socialized time of our “second, social nature”. By measuring social relations, money stands in for quantified abstract labor time, becoming a kind of supra-individual subject to objectify our social relations and to determine their productivity by magnitudes. This measurement and the realized magnitudes thereby become the passage from past valorization to its own future, and money is this passage or this presence in between past and future.

This dissolution of social relations in time is simultaneously the solution of the money riddle: money quantitatively realizes a time which money itself brings with it – money is this temporalization of time by measuring and quantifying social relations; reckoning with the identity of a time which becomes the identity of capitalist society in the circuits of the latter’s reproduction.


#23 Evaluating and perceiving time and its measurement in light and sound designs for live theatre productions (Carol Fischer)

Light and sound designers for live theatre productions are obsessively concerned with time and its measurement. One second more or one second less, or even part of a second, of the working and placements of lighting and soundscape into the dynamics of a script are particular, and carry particular effects to an audience. Much of the timing of these effects in performance is somewhat subliminal in support and enhancement of the production, but is also used to shock and encourage strong reaction. I propose to illuminate the process of light and sound design and execution in regards to time measurement with the objective of increasing the understanding of the temporal workings behind the designs in theatre production, as well as enhancing the appreciation of one’s own personal experiences as spectator and audience.


#25 The Shoreless Ocean: Marking Time in Prison (Michael G. Flaherty)

The lifestyle of incarceration demands that prisoners attend to time in new and distinct ways. Simultaneously, their previous methods of marking time become ineffective or injurious to their well-being. The physical setting is small and immutable. One’s activities are invariant and repetitious. Temporal intervals are short and cyclical. In concert, these environmental factors change the meanings that prisoners attach to the passage of time. More specifically, the imposition of these environmental factors brings about three dimensions of experience with temporal implications: powerlessness, waiting, and the burden of time. Prisoners adapt to this context by developing unique strategies for marking the passage of time: (1) the rhythms and routines of the temporal regime, (2) churn in personnel among staff and fellow prisoners, (3) creating personal routines, (4) making use of television and other media, (5) the development of personal skills, (6) public events, (7) private encounters. In short, subsequent to incarceration, convicts feel compelled to abandon previous temporal benchmarks in favor of those that characterize life in prison. Yet they are tormented by what they embrace and haunted by what they surrendered.


#26 A life on tram lines” – Calculating the Futures in Devs and Westworld(Sonia Front)

From the mid 18th century the future has been figured as something distinct from the present, an approach accompanied by an alternative one whereby “the future is in the present,” or, in other words, it can be extrapolated from the present. Both Alex Garland’s miniseries Devs (2020) and season 3 of Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan’s Westworld (2020) feature quantum AI computers that gather large data sets about human subjects to analyse them and calculate the course of their lives. This inevitably raises the questions of determinism and free will, cause and effect relationships and the nature of reality. While in Devs the aim of the system is to prove which interpretation of reality is true: determinism or many-worlds theory, in Westworld the system is used for manipulation and control of the society. But can the future be calculated from the present and the past? Both series demonstrate that it can but only to a certain extent as an unpredictable element will always reveal itself to create an anomaly. The paper examines the clash of the two approaches to the future in the series. It transpires that the existence of anomalies explodes the attempt to predict the future and rejects linear causal models induced by progress to replace them with the vision of the world governed by unpredictability, instability and change, thus opening up space for contingency and a multiplicity of alternate futures. In so doing, the two series underscore agency of the present moment and the potential to impact and rewrite the future.


#27 Measuring the Anthropocene. Notes on Justin Bennett’s audio-visual work Vilgiskoddeoayvinyarvi: Wolf Lake on the Mountains(Carla Gabrí)

Justin Bennetts audio-visual piece Vilgiskoddeoayvinyarvi: Wolf Lake on the Mountains,mainly consists of a voice. It belongs to Viktor Koslovsky, an alleged geologist, working at the now-abandoned 12,262km-deep Kola Super Deep Borehole (KSD) in northwestern Russia. Over the course of the work, Koslovsky recounts the drilling of the borehole, which turned the site into a seismic listening station for predicting natural and nuclear disasters.

Despite being audio-visual, Wolf Lake on the Mountains is less about seeing than listening. The images often remain static – much like photographs – documenting a barren landscape, abandoned measuring stations and scientific equipment scattered on the ground. Visually stuck on the surface of the earth, the film finds its actual depth in all the unknown sounds Koslovsky registers through his listening tubes – sounds coming from deep within the earth, from a geological depth that eludes any moving image.

In my talk –which will be held as a live performed video essay – I will read this apparent lack of visual evidence as a reflection upon the delayed visibility of the Anthropocene. Drawing from Michel Foucault and his thoughts on the stethoscope, Koslovsky’s listening tubes can be understood as tools that already measure what the eyes can’t see yet, but eventually will see because it lies already behind us: the death of the world. In this sense, one can read Wolf Lake on the Mountains as a depiction of a post-apocalypse – a post-apocalypse that only reveals itself when looking into the borehole, backwards and forwards in time.


#29 Temporal Saturation and Folding Time Through Literature (Chloe Garcia Roberts)

I am currently writing a book of essays recounting instances of a phenomenon I have termed “temporal saturation,” a proposed measurement of how certain moments in a life when remembered seem to spill or shrink, to transcend or subvert their physical duration, and color differently their surrounding time. It is a measurement not of physical increments but of emotional density, qualified by the vividity by which these moments are reexperienced, relived, and returned to the present. I am interested in the resonance of these moments of temporal saturation, not only how they reverberate through an individual’s life, but if adequately captured through literature, and what defines this adequacy is the subject of research, resound with undiluted intensity through the lives of strangers, be they living simultaneously or separated by time.

The intricacies of how this phenomenon is represented, implemented, and ultimately amplified through literature became a focus through my translations of the 9th century Chinese poet, Li Shangyin, whose work is a unique dichotomy of impenetrable narrative and emotional immediacy. In order to translate his poetry, I had to break down and rebuild his literary methodology so to speak, to analyze how he created what is essentially a machine for bringing together two times, that of the reader and that of the writer, thus creating a shared emotional present. Upon completion of the translation, I became interested in the mechanics of using writing to preserve emotion so that it can be revisited and relived by the rememberer, and thus visited and lived for the first time by the reader, and have been applying this process to my own memories in a series of essays.

In my proposed presentation I will read an essay explaining and defining the phenomenon of temporal saturation as well as its connection to translation and literature.


#30 Chronography in New Urban Spaces in the Transition Era From Medieval to Early Modern Japan (Andrew Goble)

This paper will explore primarily aspects of the material chronography and nominal chronography that were in popular use in some of the new urban spaces that came into being during the period of transition from the medieval to the early modern eras in Japan. The time frame of the inquiry is the 1580s and 1590s. The locales to be examined are the temple towns (jinai machi) in Ōsaka and then in Kyoto that were the headquarters of the Honganji Pure land Buddhist sect.

The primary source for the paper is a contemporary diary (Tokitsune kyōki) that provides a near-daily record of activity over a period of twenty years. The author, though well-familiar with the chronographic tradition of civil political elites, lived in an environment governed by factors outside that culture. First, the chronography associated with Buddhist ritual activity and chronometric markers of life given prominence by believers. Second, newly-formed, and still-forming, churning urban sites with primarily an occupationally and socially diverse commoner (non-elite) population of domestic migrants with no uniform system of time reference. Third, the urban area likely catalyzed new rhythms of interaction that required an attention to time different from that in non-urban areas.

The paper will look at such things as: reporting of medical symptoms, keeping track of the progress of ailments, the keeping by patients of longer-term records of medicines and their use; times reported for physician – patient interactions, which shed light on activity time in daily life; references to, and speculation on the need to note, time of arrival and departure for trips or attendance at events; and the apparent new rhythms of time consciousness associated with regular medicinal ingestion as part of a long-term health maintenance regimen.


#102 On the Existence of One-point Time on an Oriented Set (Yaroslav Grushka, Institute of Mathematics NAS, Kiev)

The notion of oriented set is the most elementary technical notion in the
theory of changeable sets. From the other hand in the framework of oriented sets we can give
the mathematicaly strict and abstract definition of the notion of time. In the present talk we
are going to speak about the existence of internal time (that is the time, which can be “observed
from the inside” of the oriented set) in an oriented set with given synchronization.


#31 “Narrating Catastrophe” (William Handley)

As a genre, novels have a curious relationship to time, as Mark Currie and others have observed: in the unfolding of a narrative, for the first-time reader, the future of the narrative is not fully experienced until the reader arrives at the end of the novel. And yet that future is already written, determined, independent of the reader’s knowledge or ignorance. The novel thus bears within its very form a condition characteristic of the experience of the always unlived and unknown future in the Anthropocene: the future is unknown but already determined. This is identical, it turns out, with what Srivinas Aravamudan calls the catachronism of climate change: whereas anachronism is reading the past as the meaning of the present, catachronism is the opposite: it “recharacterizes the past and the present in terms of a future proclaimed to be determinate but that is of course not yet fully realized” (8).

The Anthropocene is also called the “Catastrophozoic” because the Holocene’s climatic probabilities have been replaced by the improbabilities of climate change. Amitav Ghosh writes about why this Epoch’s unforeseen events pose a problem for literary fiction and the conventions of Realism, which have relied upon probability for their Realist effects. “Serious” literary fiction now confronts the task of incorporating the disruptive, catastrophic Event into Realist narratives of everyday life without correspondence to the familiar conditions and orderly, temporal expectations of the novel’s conventional furniture.

Through the lens of our unforeseen Epoch, Willa Cather’s fiction shows a remarkable adaptability, indeed incorporation of, the unexpected temporal Event, one that implicitly challenged the master narratives of her time, especially those about Time. Those narratives were causally complicit in the environmental destruction that gave rise to climate change and that predicated the present’s unpredictability.


#34 Unconforming Geologic Time (Paul Harris)

This panel presents disruptive engagements with concepts and terms that have become touchstones in the geologic/planetary turn in the inhumanities. The geologic timescale and current debates around the Anthropocene implicitly uphold a view of time, history, and knowledge grounded in linearity and control that operationalize in the extractive carbon capital economies fuelled by colonialism and slavery. The geo-logic of chronostratigraphy, the drive to compile a complete rock record, is inextricably entangled with the mining of geophysical energies and resources. Skips in the record are seen as lost time and obstacles to production: in geologic lexicon, a gap in deposition of sediment is termed a hiatus; a gap thought to be caused by erosion a vacuity: together these words, bursting with absence, are “geologic unconformities.”

But as Hugh Raffles writes in The Book of Unconformities, “Even the most solid, ancient, and elemental materials are as lively, capricious, willful, and indifferent as time itself; … life is filled with unconformities—revealing holes in time that are also fissures in feeling, knowledge, and understanding.” This panel looks to the work of writers, scholars, and artists who explore how unconformities open productive and provocative means of reflecting on life and time and displace the geologic timescale with a deep time characterized by uncertainty and multiplicity. As geographer Katherine Yusoff suggests, “there is not one but many Earths, preexistent and possible, within this particular geochemical-cosmic milieu.” Imagined geo-temporalities will explored in the work of writers Hugh Raffles and N.K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth Trilogy), philosopher David Wood (Deep Time, Dark Times: On Being Geologically Human), and artists Katie Paterson and Julian Charriere. How can we draw on alternative temporal scenarios to reconceive of Earthly existence in the Anthropocene?



#36 (PANEL JSTS /1) Time Studies in Japan and the book “Cosmos and Time” (Kenta Fujisawa)

At the time of the establishment of the International Society for the Study of Time (ISST), Japanese physicists, including Satoshi Watanabe, were deeply involved. However, Japanese contributions to the activities of the ISST were not very prominent thereafter.

Meanwhile, in 2000, the Research Institute for Time Studies (RITS) was established at Yamaguchi University under the guidance of Professor Heisuke Hironaka, who was the president of the university at the time. Subsequently, the Japanese Society for Time Studies (JSTS) was also established in 2009, leading to the development of Japan’s unique time studies. These historical events are briefly introduced in the book “Time’s History of Japan”.

During my talk, I will be introducing the book “Cosmos and Time”, which is produced by the Research Institute for Time Studies and set to be published in the summer of 2023. A total of 19 authors discuss various aspects of the relationship between astronomy and time. The contents of the book are broadly divided into cosmology, the evolution of matter and objects in the universe, the formation of the solar system and the earth, black holes, and the time of the universe and humans.


#40 (PANEL JSTS /2) Recent progress on the optical atomic clocks and current status on the redefinition of the second(Mizuhiko Hosokawa, Principal researcher, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT))

The progress of the atomic clocks is remarkable. Especially, in the 21st century, the development of optical atomic clocks, whose accuracy surpasses the microwave atomic clocks, has made rapid progress. Recently, except the 2×10-16 uncertainty that is caused by the uncertainty of the current definition of the second, the accuracy of the optical atomic clocks reaches on the order of 10-18 level. Since 2019, some optical atomic clocks have started to contribute to the accuracy of the International Atomic Time (TAI) [1]. NICT Sr optical lattice clock [2] is one of the earliest to contribute to TAI and has been continuing the contribution. Considering such situation on the progress of the optical atomic clocks, the redefinition of the second is currently under serious discussion. In this paper, we show the current topics on the optical atomic clocks. At first, fundamental techniques on the optical atomic clocks, such as the atom confinements, very accurate optical frequency comb measurements, and ultra-stable clock lasers, are shown. Next, the accuracy achieved by optical atomic clocks and their potential are discussed. Finally, the current status of international discussion on the redefinition of the second is reported.


[1] ”Record number of frequency standards contribute to International Atomic Time”,


[2] H. Hachisu, F. Nakagawa, Y. Hanado, and T. Ido, “Months-long real-time generation of a time scale based on an optical clock,” Sci. Rep. 8, 4243, 2018.

#95 (PANEL JSTS /3) Memorial Day of Time -The Roots of Japanese Punctuality- (Takeshi Inoue)

In Japan, June 10 is called “Memorial Day of Time” because of an old record of the first time signal by Emperor Tenchi in 671. Memorial Day of Time” was established in 1920. It was inspired by the “Exhibition of Time” (May 16-July 4, 1920) held at the Tokyo Museum of Education (now the National

Museum of Nature and Science). This “Time” exhibition displayed many items related to time in order to improve the loose sense of time among the Japanese people at that time. The exhibition attracted public interest and about 220,000 visitors. The “Memorial Day of Time” was held during the exhibition period. Astronomers were involved in the organization of the “Memorial Day of Time” and worked diligently to promote the event. On the day, 50,000 flyers calling for punctuality were distributed. At noon, bells were rung simultaneously throughout Tokyo, creating an unprecedented level

of excitement. The “Time” exhibition had a great impact on society, and the exhibits are valuable for the study of “time” in the Taisho era. However, due to the Great Kanto Earthquake and war damage, the whereabouts of most of the exhibits are unknown. We have identified old clocks, astronomical instruments, old calendars, postal and communication devices, and other items listed in the exhibition catalog. In 2020, people involved in time collaborated to organize “Time” Exhibition 2020 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of “Memorial Day of Time”. A commemorative book was also

published the following year. This presentation will introduce the history and significance of “Time Memorial Day” in Japan.


#37 The Timekeeper and the Hour Glass: Artist Moving image and Poetic Nonlinear Aspects of Time (Karen Heald)

For many Western cultures the artificial construction of time is often measured chronologically through our perceptions of the ‘clock’.
Communicating similar expressions as contemporary artists and theorists, Kiyokawa Asami, Pipilotti Rist, Trinh T Minha and Tacita Dean, the author, an interdisciplinary artist and academic whose practice embraces moving image proposes creating a new short film and a contextualising paper specific for the exhibition and symposia that explores poetic nonlinear aspects of time.

The research is set within the context of contemporary art, arts and science research, feminist action, and site-responsive approaches. Through a complex interdisciplinary methodology incorporating the performative use of time-based media while engaging with philosophical enquiry, visual analysis and experimental research, the thesis will draw upon Jane Hawkins memoirs ‘Travelling to infinity …, Julia Kristeva’s notion of intertextuality and Hito Steyerl artworks and essay documentaries. The paper aims to articulate the phenomena of culture and the ‘unmeasurability’ of temporal and spatiotemporal objects of sensory experience as distinguished from the ‘clock’.


#39 Aspects of ‘waiting’ and its literary representation (Franz Hintereder-Emde)

Scientifically we are able to measure time at a high level of accuracy. Time measurement is indispensable for our daily life. And yet it is most difficult for us as human beings to gather time exactly and even more to get along with it. Waiting at a traffic light before an urgent appointment or the time heading an important exam can drag on into eternity.

There is obviously a deep rift between measurable time and what we individually experience as time. How can this gap be bridged? Humans have grappled with this contradiction not only since quantum physics and advanced time models in natural science. It seems old fashioned, but it is storytelling to get along with the obstacles of time. In narration we find all those aspects of time presented that seem puzzling, incomprehensible, insolubly to us.

In my paper, I will examine narrative texts under the aspect of indefinite waiting with reference to the Covid-19 pandemic. Starting with Josef Conrad’s “Almayer’s Folly” and Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”, the depiction of waiting will be analyzed. Conrad’s protagonist spent his lifetime waiting for his business chance, whereas Beckett keeps his figures waiting for some name that vanishes into nowhere.


#41 “They Shall Not Grow Old . . .”: Digital Technology and Cinematic-Historical Time (John Hunter)

This paper analyzes the effects of digital technical innovations (specifically colour-grading, post-production, and CGI effects) on the experience of historical time in cinema. It focuses on (1) how digital technology renders historical experience as familiar and immersive, rather than foreign or alienating; (2) how this change gave rise to the 21st century franchise/reboot phenomenon ( e.g., the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” [2008-21], etc.); and (3) how Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) provides a precise example of how the techniques and assumptions that were developed for fantasy/superhero films are being applied to documentary historical subjects – in this case, the filmed records of World War One.

Jackson’s cinematic Lord of the Rings trilogy (released 2001-03) marked the coming of age of digital technology in mainstream cinema and created new possibilities for cinematic representation: stories that had previously been “unfilmable” (as Stanley Kubrick once described Tolkien’s work) were now potential cinematic subjects thanks to computer graphics; all around the world, filmmakers realized that literally anything could be made to look cinematically “real.” Successful historical films of the 20th century (e.g., Lawrence of Arabia or Bonnie and Clyde) represent historical experience as fundamentally remote from the viewer’s everyday life, with the film serving as a bridge across this temporal gap. Using digital tools, filmmakers now represent historical experience as an animation of the past that is contiguous with everyday experience in our digitally-networked lives; the first closing title in They Shall Not Grow Old tells the viewer that it was “Filmed on location on the Western Front, 1914 – 1918,” precisely because many younger viewers simply would not realize that they had just watched historical film footage. The paper concludes by laying out the implications of this digital erasure of temporal distance, building on the work of scholars like Jason Sperb and Christina Lee.


#43 Subjective measurement of duration depends upon not event numbers, but upon cognitive load to process those events in viewing Rapid Serial Visual Presentation sequences (Makoto Ichikawa)

Previous studies have found that perception of temporal duration depends upon the perceived numbers of events during that period (e.g. Fraisse, 1984); if individuals experience more events during a fixed period, they tend to perceive the duration of this period as longer than the same duration which they experience filled with less events. We investigated whether the perceived number of events during a period, or the cognitive load required to process the events determines the subjective measurement of duration. In viewing an Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP ) sequence with two targets, observers often fail to detect the second target if the lag between the first and second targets is less than 500 ms. This failure in detecting the second target is known as the “Attentional Blink (AB)”. We examined whether target detection failures in viewing RSVP sequences, caused by the AB, affects this reduction of perceived duration. In experiments, trials consisted of displays of two series of RSVP sequences; in the first sequence (the comparison), two, one, or no numerals were presented as targets embedded within the string of letters while in the second sequence (the standard), only alphabetic letters were presented. In each trial, participants judged whether the duration of the comparison is perceived as longer than that of the standard, or whether the number of frames in the comparison is perceived as more than that in the standard. Results showed that perceived duration was inflated with target detection, but not with the increment of presented frames although number of perceived frames was inflated with both target detection and increment of presented frames. These results suggest that measurement of subjective duration in viewing RSVP sequences is determined by the cognitive load necessary to process the visual events, rather than by the number of perceived events.


#45 Do slow passage of time and disorientation covary? An examination time distortions during COVID-19 (Eve Isham)

Beginning in the Spring of 2020, the world was responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with various changes and disturbances, this sudden shift in life seemed to be accompanied by a change in the experience of time. In some moments, time appeared to be crawling along and days also seemed to blur together. Recent studies have confirmed that perceiving time as different during the early days of the pandemic was common (e.g., Droit-Volet et al., 2020; Ogden, 2020) and may ultimately become a defining features of this unique moment in history. In particular, two distortions of time appear to have become more prominent: slowed passage of time and time “warping”, whereby, in retrospect, days appeared to merge, rendering a feeling of disorientation and losing track of days. These observations motivated the current study, which sought to better understand the potential shared cause of these distorted time experiences.

In the present study, we investigated the extent in which time passage and time disorientation vary with each other. We remotely surveyed 270 participants regarding their temporal distortions during the COVID-19 mandatory quarantine (April and May 2020) and after (November, 2020). Moreover, a subset of these participants remained in the study for up to two weeks. The correlation between time passage and temporal disorientation was examined at two levels: 1) as a between-subjects analysis across the three survey periods, and 2) as a within-subjects analysis within the subset of participants who remained in the study.

Persistency in the correlation between the two forms of time would suggest a possible common underlying mechanisms between them. The results are discussed in the context of the pacemaker-accumulator model.


#46 Wayward Temporalities: Literary Interventions in Archival Time (Erica L. Johnson)

Archival materials have long been regarded as static source materials for historical reconstructions; however, remaining records are only as informative as critical and creative interventions in the archive make them. Archival theory is an exciting new and profoundly interdisciplinary area of study through which scholars are reconceptualizing, above all, the temporality of the archive. Michelle Caswell explicates the coercive nature of linear temporalities succinctly in Urgent Archives (2020), in which she “uncovers the whiteness and heteronormativity of dominant archival temporalities that fix the record in a singular moment in time and imbue it with the potentiality of future use” (Caswell 26). No one has engaged and reconceptualized the meaning of the archive in time more fully than Saidiya Hartman: in her extraordinary book Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments (2019), Hartman depicts turn-of-the-century African American women’s practices of voice and fashion and love and self-care and self-imagining in spaces adjacent to the violent historical, political, and legal institutions that constitute and guard the official archive. She demonstrates the dehumanizing mechanisms of the archive as it assumes authority over record and history, even in the process of liberating her subjects from its claims. Hers is a radical break with linearity with the result that the archive is not a product of the past so much as an ongoing process unfolding in the present. Hartman theorizes the measure of archival time within the ethical structure of human rights, a metric that collapses the archive’s content and omissions into the historical and contemporary realities that her narrative mediates. I apply her theory to several literary and artistic examples of counter-archival intervention.


#105One Stick at a Time: Time Measurement with Incense in Early Modern Japan (1600-1868)

(Angelika Koch, Leiden University)

Incense played a significant role as a method for time measurement across premodern East Asia. Not only was its relatively constant burning rate suitable for portioning off equal amounts of time; its usage was also comparably inexpensive, unlike, for example, mechanical clocks. Traditional studies of clocks have given some consideration to incense clocks as instruments of time measurement, but incense sticks have only received cursory treatment and rarely been perceived as time markers, most likely due to their intrinsically fleeting nature; neither have the social contexts of their usage for measuring time been explored. The early modern pleasure quarters represent the most illustrious application of this method, but incense sticks were used to measure time in other environments, ranging from the religious, medical, educational to even scientific experiments. Seeking to de-centre a narrative of technological progress focused on mechanical time-pieces, this paper will delineate the continued social practices of time measurement with incense and the contexts that required the elaboration of such a system in early modern Japan. What were the advantages and limits of this system? Were incense sticks a purely ‘individual’ measure of time or a widely shared time ‘unit’? Did they lend themselves to standardization? And which social activities were deemed worthy of measuring in the first place?


#51 A new measure of lifetimes? Young people and the redefinition of the future (Carmen Leccardi)

The paper aims at exploring the contemporary changes in the social representations, and the cultural measure, of lifetimes, taking the relation between young people and the future as an analytical starting point. In fact, from a social perspective, it is nowadays generally recognized that youth can no longer be regarded simply as a life stage placed in a linear perspective – from childhood to old age, passing through adulthood – as it was in early modernity (Cavalli; Heinz; Woodman; Wyn). As a consequence, young people’s ability to view the future as a time of new opportunities, to be constructed day-by-day in the present within the so called deferred gratification pattern, has to be reconsidered.

In this context, the paper sets out to understand the ongoing change in the relationship between young people and the future in the Global North. The increase in social precariousness and the uncertainty (also linked to the COVID pandemic) negatively impact, for example, their ability to construct life projects together with the appropriate forms of identities. New forms of identities are thus expanding. Situational identities, i.e. identities linked to temporary goals in the ‘extended present’ (Nowotny), are becoming more and more prevalent. However, this tendency should not be considered as a mere expression of withdrawal from agency. Rather, it could also represent an expression of social resilience, which is exercised in order to avoid the risks connected to the loss of manageable life projects. Moving to this particular type of identity, many young people seem to succeed in taking decisions and exercising forms of agency even though, in the contemporary ‘high-speed society’ (Rosa and Scheurman), the medium- to long term future seems locked in a fog bank. In a nutshell, young people seem to be able ‘to use time against time’, proposing a sort of time work (Flaherty) in the context of the redefinition of the life course.


#110 J.T. Fraser Memorial Lecture: Molecular genetic study of the Circadian Clock (Ritsuko Matsumura)

The various physiological functions of our body follow a daily cycle controlled by an internal system known as the circadian clock. Body temperature drops before we go to sleep and rises when we wake up, and melatonin is secreted more during sleep and less during the day because of the circadian clock. The circadian clock also influences our behavior; we rest at night and are active during the day.

The circadian clock regulates biochemical, physiological, and behavioral processes. These processes become more efficient and aid the survival of the organism through anticipating and adapting to environmental changes on a 24-hour cycle. Hence, it is important for our health to maintain the internal circadian rhythm and ensure appropriate phase relationships between the circadian rhythm and the environment. Various diseases resulting from inappropriate internal rhythms have been reported, including diabetes, obesity, depression, and other sleep disorders.

In 2017, Jeffrey C. Hall and colleagues were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering the molecular mechanisms that control circadian rhythms. Studying Drosophila, they identified the “clock genes” that constitute the circadian clock. Clock genes have since been discovered in mammals. These discoveries have in turn led to an understanding of the circadian clock at the molecular level. Molecular genetic study of the circadian clock can help identify genes responsible for the pathogenesis of conditions caused by disruption of the circadian clock, and factors to target for treatment.

I am conducting basic research to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of the circadian clock in greater detail. In this lecture, I will review the mammalian circadian clock, including its basic molecular mechanisms, and describe the what and how of chronobiologists’ research on the circadian clock using molecular biological techniques, presenting data from our own research.


#60 The Beginning and the End: The Effect of Clocks and Calendars on Perceptions of Time’s Measure (Alexis McCrossen)

This paper considers the effect of clocks and calendars on perceptions and experiences of two of time’s central measures, the beginning and the end. When do we determine that an event or a life began? When do we know that it ended? How do we express in the idiom of time beginnings and endings? My interest in this topic arises out of my work on the history New Year’s observances in the United States. Though “new” emphasizes a beginning, a bundle of meanings associated with endings also characterizes the New Year. I am curious about how clocks and calendars at once give form to and deplete ideas and perceptions of beginnings and endings. By measuring time with clocks and calendars we assert control over time, but in doing so we also empty time of some of its vitality. This paper is a provisional attempt on my part to reflect broadly on temporalities embedded in certain kinds of historical artifacts and sources, such as birth and death certificates, countdowns, and forensic accounts. Birth and death certificates delimit lives, countdowns seek to extract from the rush of time particular moments deemed worthy of preservation, and forensic accounts fashion histories for events such as murders, robberies, and riots. Investigating how Americans in the nineteenth century pinpointed beginnings and endings will, I hope, stimulate productive conversations about how to move through and beyond time’s measure.


#61 Pace and Time: Field Notes on the Art of Walking (Arkadiusz Misztal)

The presentation examines the act of walking in relation to measurement and “shapes” of time. Taking as its point of departure walking as a most basic measure of space and time, the paper will first discuss techniques based on walking speed and lengths of space as intrinsic elements of, what John Edward Huth calls, “cultures of navigation”. It will argue that despite technological advances walking in these cultures has retained an irreducibly qualitative character, which on the one hand made it impossible to produce a unified standard system of measurement and, on the other, revealed a peculiar dimension of embodiment and a lived sense of time. Combining the unconscious activity of the body with the conscious activity of the mind, walking, Rebecca Solnit writes, “hits a steady beat that seem to be the pulse of time itself” (30). In this carnal-noetic alignment, “thinking becomes almost a physical, rhythmic act” (XV), capable of traversing not only space but also time. Through this active engagement of the body and the mind with the world, the walker can develop a sense of place and time that cannot be quantified and measured: “the indeterminacy of a ramble, on which much may be discovered” (10) opens up new perspectives and ways of exploring the unpredictable and the incalculable. I will examine this engagement by drawing on reflection and experience of two prominent walkers / thinkers: Henry David Thoreau (in particular his essay “Walking”) and Maurice Merleau-Ponty (his ideas on the body in motion from Phenomenology of Perception and Sorbonne lectures). In doing so, I will sketch a phenomenological account of walking as the art of navigating and exploring the plurality of temporalities underlying the manifold -scapes of our life world.


#62 ON SECOND THOUGHTS: The temporal material of durational performance (Sara Morawetz)

A second is a quantisation of time, a measure of light and a fragment of experience –– a unit that occurs again and again (and again and again) and yet never twice. Each second is both a singular entity and an endless repetition –– a mutable quantity whose fleeting experience is juxtaposed against its definitional rigidity. This talk is an overview of my ongoing artistic research into the melding of time and experience –– a practice that is framed by a conception of time as a measured and embodied material. In my work, I engage the machinations of time through durational performative actions, examining how the axioms of time’s measure are recurringly enacted, employed and subverted in scientific and societal frames. In this presentation, I review two works: 61/60: an analysis of leap seconds, and How the Stars Stand: an interlude with systems of inter-planetary time. 61/60 is a life-long performative action, that documents the occurrence of leap seconds in everyday life, while How the Stars Stand is a 37 day / 36 sol record of my experience living according to time as it is marked on Mars. From dynamic one-second ruptures to months-long contemplations of slow divergences, these works seek to examine the innate instability of time and its functions, unpacking the discordant relationship between time as a definitional construct and an experiential metric.


#63 Sacred Time; Digital Space (Jessica Morgun)

In response to the conference theme of time in measure, the digital art installation “Sacred Time; Digital Space” examines the concept of sacred time through a series of social media filters representing various ritual measures such as the breath, phases of the moon, and ancestral time. This project aims to highlight contemporary tensions within spiritual and religious practices as traditional knowledge is now accessible online within digital spaces designed for consumer engagement.

The project invites viewers to consider the cognitive dissonance between digital spaces designed for distraction and the measures of sacred time as possible spatial disruptions. It poses a question on whether spiritual practitioners can reconcile with the use of social media as a tool for engaging prospective followers while also maintaining the contemplative notions of sacred time.

I will discuss the role of sacred time in my previous works such as “Apophatic Drawings” (2015-present), “The Int-eruption” (2019), and a series of memento mori drawings (2020-present). I will also present my current digital project, “Sacred Time; Digital Space” (2022-present), and how it explores how sacred, often ancient traditions are emerging in social media feeds. Through this talk, conference attendees will gain insight into the concepts and ideas behind the art installation and are invited to experiment with the Instagram filters as a response to the artist talk. Overall, “Sacred Time; Digital Space” offers a thought-provoking examination of the role of time in contemporary spiritual practices, and how these practices are adapting to the digital age.


#64 Temporal Mapping and Time Measuring in Go-Fukakusa tennō shinki and Towazugatari(Simone Müller)

The two medieval diaries Go-Fukakusa tennō shinki and Towazugatari were not only written around the same time, they are also closely related to each other as regards their main protagonists: Lady Nijō, the author of the latterwas an imperial consort of Emperor Go-Fukakusa. In my paper I intend to compare literary expressions of “time measuring” in the two diaries in order to carve out gendered and subjective differences in the qualitative experience of time.

C ognitive linguists stress the importance of figurative language for the expression of abstract concepts and the understanding of the objective world. Based on this assumption they accentuate that the concept of “time” often metaphorically uses “spatial labels” to be described and is thus mapped by the conceptual metaphor TIME IS SPACE. They distinguish between the two instantiations of TIME PASSING IS MOTION and SEQUENCE IS RELATIVE POSITION ON A PATH, while also the degree of engagement between the conceptualizing subject and the conceptualized object, i.e., the degree of subjectivity, can be linguistically analyzed. On the other hand, time can also be mapped by the conceptual metaphor TIME IS A RESOURCE.

On the basis of these premises, I would like to probe the following three questions in my paper: 1) How were the court activities described in the two diaries measured and what figurative language was employed to express these measures? 2) How does figurative language shed light on the two author’s subjective and gendered experience of the time, including the temporal layers of the past, the present and the future? 3) How did the authors perceive their autonomy in the handling of time measure in their lives? The proposed paper thus aims at “mapping” the relevant layers of temporal emotions and degree of determinacy in two representative literary works of medieval Japan, in order to find out if temporal actions were rather understood as motions in time, as sequences or as resources, and if the authors experienced qualitative measures of time as something they had power upon (open time) or something that was imposed on them (closed time).


#67 The Measure of Narrative Time: The Tereus Myth in Drama and Epic (Stephanie Nelson)

In treating the Tereus myth in tragedy, comedy and epic, Sophocles’ Tereus, Aristophanes’ Birds, and Ovid’s Metamorphoses reveal the difference in how time is measured in the three genres, as well as the enormous impact of that difference. Thus, for example, even the standard “messenger speech” of tragedy reports action in the real time of the fictional and actual audiences, while Ovid’s third person narrator allows the action to expand, contract and fracture over time and to be impersonalized. Comedy provides a conceptual bridge between the two by existing onstage in real time, but bending audience time to the fantastic will of the comedy.

The Tereus myth further brings out the difference in measures of time by juxtaposing the oral and the visual in the myth’s horrific picture of the raped Philomela, her tongue cut out to prevent her speaking, weaving her message into a tapestry. The mute actor, offering the tapestry onstage, sets the instantaneous perception of the visual against the perception over time of the oral, a contrast further emphasized if, as seems likely, the motif of woven cloth was used throughout as a visual cue. Birds takes this even further, not only playing with the visual extravagance of the bird costumes (a transformation only reported in tragedy) but also transmuting the choral songs as the play progresses, so that we hear a difference in real time even as that time occurs in non-time of comedy.

Ovid’s epic is not only abstracted from the visual and oral elements of drama, it is also tied neither to the mythic time of tragedy nor to the contemporary time of comedy. And it capitalizes on the fact that in written epic the audience, not the performer, determines the passage of time. Ovid thus embeds his stories within a mock chronological organization, opening and closing the Metamorphoses with himself, and boasting at its end of outliving even Rome. The poet thus matches his individual life against an epic that stretches from the world’s beginning to a continual present (1.3-4), supplanting Rome, and demonstrating how different measures of time create also different levels of meaning and control.


#68 Measurement of simultaneity window in human hearing (Satoshi Okazaki)

Simultaneity is a fundamental concept for understanding the temporal relation of two events. It is ideally represented by a point (∆t = 0). However, for any real measurement system, especially for human perception, it has a range within which the system judges the events as simultaneous ones. This range for simultaneity judgment is called as “simultaneity window.” From the viewpoint of experimental psychology, we aimed to measure the simultaneity window for human hearing because audition is the most sensitive modality to temporal relationship for multiple events in human perception. In the measurement, participants first judged whether the two tones were perceptually fused or separated. Only if they judged the tones as separated were they asked to judge whether the two tones were simultaneous or not. Results showed that the simultaneity window is large when two tones are close in frequency. If the frequency separation of two tones reaches at the halfwidth of the human cochlear filter, the simultaneity window is the smallest. Above that width, the simultaneity window expands as the frequency separation increases. Based on these results, we derived the equation that describes the simultaneity window’s behavior for hearing in the frequency domain. The equation has two variables; ∆z and f1, where ∆z denotes the frequency distance of two tones at the early stage of the auditory pathway and f1 represents the frequency region of the two tones. The equation shows that the simultaneity window steeply decreases up to ∆z = 0.5, and then gradually increases along ∆z axis. The slope of the increasing part rises with decreasing f1. Our results revealed that the simultaneity window for hearing varies with stimulus relationship in the frequency domain. We are proposing a model to calculate the simultaneity window for two tones with any combinations of frequencies.


#71 Branching Timelines and Measuring the Unled Life in Ted Chiang’s “Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom” (Jo Parker)

This paper serves as a companion piece of sorts to an earlier paper dealing with do-overs occasioned by time loops in fictional texts, do-overs that are impossible in reality but whose fictional presentations prompt us to consider what might have been. Rather than fictions featuring time loops, however, I here examine fictions featuring parallel worlds and branching time-lines, focusing primarily on Ted Chiang’s provocative 2019 speculative-fiction novella “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom.” Deriving primarily from the many-worlds theory of quantum physics, the idea of branching timelines has been a staple of narrative fictions, films, and television series, tantalizing readers and viewers with the idea of the “what if,” the unled life that one might have led had one turned left instead of right or gotten into a different elevator––or been subject to the myriad of indeterminate and indeterminable factors that, over time, would lead “two branches” to diverge “visibly on a worldwide scale” (285), in Chiang’s words. I first examine how Chiang draws on the many-worlds theory in conceiving the “Plaga interworld signaling mechanism” (or “prism”) that sets the story in motion. The prism “creates two newly divergent timelines” (274) when it is activated and, operating under certain constraints, allows communication between the two branches. This communication between worlds can thus entail measurements or evaluations of overall differences that time’s passage occasions. I then examine the various situations to which prism technology gives rise and that allow Chiang to explore the ramifications of such measurements. Finally, addressing philosophical and psychological discussions of “unled lives,” I demonstrate how Chiang’s novella enables us to grasp the psychic costs and benefits of speculation on the might-have-been.


#72 Temporalization of ethical becoming: from the synchronized self to diachronical intersubjectivity (Irina Poleshchuk)

Contemporary philosophy and in particular phenomenology have developed various theories of temporality of subjectivity. The discussion of time is not merely seen as an objective time but it becomes inherent characteristic of being and the existent. In this presentation I draw on Levinas’s philosophy of intersubjectivity rooted in context of temporality. Levinas’s philosophical project demonstrates that the temporal event of the other person appealing to subjectivity questions the self, identity and its locus. The work of impression and affection describe the self as present and continuous, as sensible, embodied and localized subjectivity able to enjoy and to dwell in the world. However, affection and primal impression also question and modify subjectivity into delayed, torn up from its temporal continuity, traumatized and structured as one-for-the-other. There is a particular form of sensibility present in the self that designs time as ‘mine’ but also initiates a movement from the interiorized and punctuated self towards dephasing subjectivity born from the appeal of the other person.

My primal concern is to analyze a transition from the synchronized self, initiated by the work of auto-affection, to the ethical self, rooted in heteronomous affection. Addressing philosophy of Henry Bergson, Emmanuel Levinas and Michel Henry I argue that the sensible self is presented in temporal continuity as enjoying, dwelling, and experiencing pain. The sensible self is synchronized and interiorized, but also is susceptible and able to respond. Following Levinas’s main thesis I will show that the address of the other person displaces the sensible self, questions its time as continuity of present and eventually dephases the self. I claim that affection indicates a temporal dephasing, provoking a discontinuity inside temporalizing self-affecting subjectivity. This dephasing gives an origin to the ethical becoming of the self: it is torn apart, displaced, traumatized sensibility, and it is the self insofar as it is the one-for-the-other.


#75 PANEL Time as a measure of being: Revisiting JT Fraser‘s ‘Extended Umwelt Principle’

#75/1: What do we measure when we measure time? (Steven Ostovich)

What do we measure when we measure time? This paper argues that answering this question requires J. T. Fraser’s Extended Umwelt Principle (EUP). It begins with a brief review of the EUP in the context of Fraser’s Hierarchical Theory of Time’s Conflicts which leads to an initial answer to the opening question: time measures being. But unpacking this claim puts our thinking on a path that is complex and sometimes disorienting. The origin of the Umwelt Principle is Biology, and Fraser’s EUP remains closely related to evolution, but evolution is driven by conflict and disruption rather than smooth-flowing development. New levels of reality emerge unpredictably, and understanding being is not a matter of uncovering the unchanging principles of a “true ontology” to explain what is but of working within our temporal/conceptual Umwelt. The EUP guides Fraser’s responses to time-related conundrums like entropy, indeterminacy, and mind-brain identity: on the one hand, the EUP helps us avoid the mistake of reductionism in treating these issues; at the same time the EUP helps us steer clear of any false mysticism in our thinking. But we are left facing the discomfiting realization that measuring time involves measuring disruption. In the terms of the hierarchical theory of time’s conflicts, we are confronted with a nootemporal conceptual challenge that opens up sociotemporal reality.

#75/2: “Temporality in Layers: A Conversation between J.T. Fraser and E. Husserl” (Lanei Rodemeyer)

One would think that J.T. Fraser (who employed a “nested hierarchy” to understand the natural world) and Edmund Husserl (often accused of centering his phenomenology on the consciousness of individual subjects) would have very little in common. Several facts counter this presumption, however: Both scholars recognized temporality as an essential component to describing the world; both pointed to human existence as a key feature in what we understand as temporality; both presented various temporalities based upon “levels”; and, interestingly, both identified the importance of “intentionality” to human engagement with the world. While this does not mean that Fraser and Husserl were making the same arguments, it does suggest that their approaches to temporality and temporal experience might have had similar approaches such that a conversation between them could be productive. This paper intends to begin that conversation.

First, I will work through the ways in which each of these theorists presented different levels of temporal measure. For Fraser, the “Extended Umwelt Principle” describes a “nested hierarchy” of temporalities in the natural world, from electro-magnetic radiation (lowest) to human social existence (highest). For Husserl, I argue, embodied subjects experience the world through levels of temporal constitution, from a flow of raw sensory material (lowest) to communal or abstract social existence (highest). I then consider how these two hierarchies might align with one another, and whether they might work together to produce a more detailed and nuanced system. Finally, I introduce Husserl’s analyses of “sedimentation” and “association” as a way to reconsider Fraser’s somewhat problematic rankings of inanimate objects and animals as relatively bereft of history or memory. Introducing Husserl’s concepts and leveled analyses into Fraser’s “nested hierarchy” might allow for new approaches to history and memory that deepen (and possibly adjust) our understanding of these “hierarchies” of temporal measure.

#75/3: An Overextended Measure?—Revising the Extended Umwelt Principle (Raji Steineck)

The EUP takes its clue from work by Biologist Jakob von Uexküll on the sensory and motor faculties of animals, most famously the tick. Uexküll argued that the world as it is accessible to an animal is defined by the spectrum and reach of its sensory-perceptive faculties and its abilities for locomotion. Together, they define what can appear as part of the “umwelt” of this animal. Fraser applied this idea beyond the realm of animals, both in the direction of inanimate matter, and in the direction of beings with higher cognitive faculties and their associations. His “Extended Umwelt Principle” posits that the reality of any given being is defined by the causal and, in case of living beings, perceptive/cognitive nexus it has with the world, as defined by its internal organisation and its degree of complexity. I argue that there are two problems with this extension: first, on the material side, it reduces the range of causalities that may actually have effects on a given entity. Second, on the conceptual side, it ignores the seminal distinction between “umwelt” and “reality.” Reflection on the symbolic functions at work in the noo- and sociotemporal world of which the EUP forms a part help to understand its limits and exploit its merits without falling into naturalist fallacies. I propose that a deflated version of the EUP may function as a heuristic device to formulate the temporal structures constitutive at a given level of reality, and avoids the naturalist fallacies that burden the later versions of Fraser’s theory of time as conflict. In this revised version, level-specific temporalities remain important as a measure of the “umwelt” of an entity, and define the temporal structures that must remain in place if this entity is to preserve its integrity—with important consequences for notions such as time travel or religious salvation.


#106 Measuring Time Non-linearly: A Study of Graham Swift’s Waterland and James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake(Sanyogita Singh, Panjab University, Chandigarh)

The Sânkhya Cosmology (in Indian Philosophy) theorises time and reality as fundamentally non-existent, and its measurement unviable. The countless births, destructions, re-births—eternal reoccurrences—of the world, renders our experience ephemeral and meaningless, when compared to the Great Time. However, this does not imply the present is an illusion or unreal; it allows a possibility to calculate dynamic movements of time. To render this dilemma—time’s evasive nature—commensurable, the proposal turns to literature. Further, time posits itself through language i.e., any discourse materialises through a displacement in time. This provides an impetus to discuss time’s mensuration via non-linear literary narratives. sMoreover, non-linear narratives often operationalise multiple temporalities at once. Such a model proves useful to contemplate and conjugate the varied textures of time and its lived experience.

This proposal focuses on Swift’s Waterland and Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake as their peculiar narratives suspend cause and effect. As these narratives construct time(s) through a plethora of elements—they reject a standard chronological time. In other words, these texts manifest time through repetition and difference. In Waterland, the passage of time is marked by the passage of water. The River Ouse, exists as an indication of the constant flow of time, and is circular. So, temporal existence is not merely an infinite repetition but also an eternal renewal. Similarly, in Wake, the twins Shim and Shaun are at once same and different.

Theoretically, this research proposal builds on Deleuze’s ideas of difference, repetition and eternal return. This involves repetition of difference over the reproduction of the same. Herein, repetition becomes a novelty defying sameness and leaves time gaugeable. This thought is paralleled in Sânkhya where our temporal existence is not merely an infinite repetition but also an eternal renewal. Time follows from this “difference and repetition” than creating it. The chosen narratives provide a momentary reconciliation with the infinite. Therefore, this proposal seeks to accommodate time’s reality and unreality through literature.


#76 Atemporality and non-linearity in the music of György Kurtág (Martin Scheuregger)

The music of Hungarian composer György Kurtág (b. 1926) is characterised by the frequent use of brief musical forms. Kurtág’s relationship with brevity can be observed in many of his works, with the title of two early solo compositions, Splinters (Op. 6c for cimbalom and Op. 6d for piano), evoking ideas of separation, and works featuring the work ‘fragment’ explicitly sharing the same formal idea: In Memory of a Winter Evening: four Fragments for soprano, violin and cimbalom (1969); Attila József Fragments (1981-82); Kafka Fragments (1987). Furthermore, the numbered movements of Twelve Microludes for string quartet (1988-89), Six Moments Musicaux (2005), et al, show the importance of a work’s constituent – often brief – parts. In further pieces, plural nouns related to text show a link to aphoristic miniatures: The Sayings of Péter Bornemisza (1963-68), Scenes from a Novel (1981-82), Three Ancient Inscriptions (1986).

Links between separate movements of sections in these works are often not presented in a linear, goal-oriented fashion, where connections are made and the music developed over time; instead, musical cohesion is created through webs of atemporal connections whereby elements of a work’s parts must be reordered by a listener ‘out of time’ in order to make sense of the work. The fragmented approach to form and material puts a greater burden on the listener who, in many ways, has time working against them as they must disregard the order of events and attempt to reconcile them regardless of the journey that has brought them together.

This paper examines works by Kurtág that can be understood through this lens of atemporal cohesion and explores how we might, as listeners, have to attempt to sit outside of time in order to understand his music. The inherent tensions between such an approach and the necessarily linear nature of our listening experience will open up questions about perception and to what extent we can or cannot avoid linearity when experiencing a fundamentally linear form of art.


#77 The Genius of Time(Walter Schweidler)

Leibniz was the philosopher (and the inventor of the infinitesimal calculus) who, as Ernst Kantorowicz said, “turned the aevum from heaven to earth”. In his concept of the “monad” (which is in many ways the secular heir of the Medieval “angel” situated in the “aevum” as the temporal element between divine eternity and human finiteness) Leibniz gave his explication of the relation between the infinite continuity of steadily passing time and the finite totality of all the identifiable beings who enter into and disappear from the real world. The monad is the factor which divides the determinate order of reality from the unmeasurable “ocean of possibilities”. Going back even behind the “angel”, we arrive at his antique predecessor, the “genius”. The Roman rhetor Censorinus in his book De die natali defined the genius as the God who is responsible for our birth (ut geneamur curat), is born with us (una genitur nobiscum), and afterwards protects and receives us (nos genitos suscipit et tutamur). For the Romans, it was our genius whom we commemorate when we celebrate a birthday. In this historical connection one can see that it has been the human life which played a crucial role for the philosophical explication of the origin of the measurability of time. In my presentation I want to represent a fairly unknown architectonical illustration which Leibniz gave for his conception of the relation between infinite continuity and definite totality, i.e. his lifelong dedication to the planting and design of the famous landscape park in Hannover-Herrenhausen. It was Leibniz‘ general idea to make this garden a monument of typically baroque symmetry combined with one exceptional factor which he characterized as the „art of deviation“. This factor, invisible for the spectator but determining the whole gigantic architecture, represented that without which, as Leibniz wrote to Clarke, there could not be any temporal development in the world.


#78 Racial Reckoning and Remeasuring in Real Time: the Case of Southern First Ladies (Katherine Sibley)

This paper will explore “history as the measure or mismeasure of time” by highlighting how one historical field was re-evaluated/remeasured by a moment in time, the horrific murder of George Floyd in May 2020. Scholars have long underlined the significance of Black history in framing U.S. history (Nikole Hannah-Jones’s 1619 essay is an outstanding example). Nonetheless, the events of May 2020 were explosive in reassessing the role of race in the American past. At that moment, my desk was buried under the final draft of an edited volume on Southern first ladies, in which seventeen elite white women—not yet so problematic—confirmed the influence of Southern culture and place on the U.S. presidency. But as the nation’s greatest racial reckoning in decades unfolded, what had once gone overlooked and mismeasured about these women, most especially their enslavement of others and their support of white supremacy, jumped out of my files. Mary Lincoln’s manipulation of her formerly enslaved dressmaker could not be understood without a reassessment of her own slaveholding. Dolley Madison’s diplomacy was clearly impossible without the aid of those she enslaved. And Edith Wilson’s role in “taking over the White House” paled next to her embrace of systemic racism. My authors mostly championed the revisions spurred by the hour; though some resisted, concerned their subject would appear “racist” (Yes). Nevertheless, we all looked with new eyes at these women, Martha Washington to Laura Bush. Drawing on the works of historians like Fabio Spirinelli, who argue that history is “a discipline that can and should…promote empathy” as well as “civic engagement,” my paper will show how a moment in time—in this case the Floyd murder and the succeeding global racial reckoning—can directly lead to a closer evaluation of history, and a reassessment of a period previously mismeasured.


#79 Towards an evidence-based timescale (Ulrich Stange)

The Gregorian calendar, introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 and used worldwide today, is structured around the resurrection of Jesus Christ (a supernatural event) and counts years from the incarnation of Jesus Christ (an indeterminate cultural date). A historical opportunity is presenting itself to base our reckoning of time on evidence-based scientific data instead. Astronomers number years as positive and negative integers without any cultural labels (BC/AD). However, with zero defined arbitrarily as 1 BC, their timescale effectively continues to use the Gregorian calendar and its links to the supernatural. Geologists are now in the process of finalizing the definition of a new geological era, the Anthropocene epoch, in which humans are driving geological change. If we combine the existing conventions of astronomical year numbering with the pending geological specifications of the Anthropocene by shifting the origin of the astronomical timescale to the commencement of the Anthropocene, we can create a scientific timescale that is based entirely on evidence and data. To be truly based on science, the specification must define not just a Year Zero, but also a Day Zero that has some astronomical or geophysical significance; this means abandoning the Gregorian calendar. A natural candidate for Day Zero would be the winter solstice. A simple shift of origin could unify several different timescales currently in civil and scientific use into a single Anthropocene timescale. If we are now living in the Anthropocene, we should be reckoning time by the Anthropocene. A different origin of the timescale may not make much practical difference to how we conduct our daily lives, but it would make a substantial cultural difference in a multi-cultural world. We could, for the first time in human history, specify dates in a culturally neutral way without any reference to the supernatural.


#80 Proposal-A Silver Memory (John Steck Jr.)

“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.– Susan Sontag

A Silver Memory:

Photography is understood as a medium that emphasizes the end product —archived moments in time. While the physical image is what remains a permanent object, we as living creatures are constantly changing. Our memories and associations with photographic images change. I have an incredible fascination, and fear, with this relationship between photography, memory, and time.

In my artistic practice, I address these issues of ephemerality by creating images that are changing alongside us. In my series, A Silver Memory, I manipulate the image-making process and allow my photographs to slowly disappear. These images, which represent moments of loss, nostalgia, fondness, and love, remain sensitive to light and over time, will fade completely.

In my recent project, In the Shadow of the Bloom, I question how images can work in opposition to the fading photographs. In this series, I place organic objects directly onto light-sensitive photo paper and allow these images to expose for days, months, even years long. While the image is forming, the materials are decaying, and everything is in process. In some ways, this work becomes a projection of time, and thus, extends beyond my life span.

My presentation would survey these time-based projects in relation to the history of photography. We will discuss how the early practitioners worked to stop times’ decay on their newfound invention, starting with the first know photographs made in the 1820s by Joseph Niepce. We will also look at contemporary photographers who employ the use of time as visual decay, such as Ulay, Robert Heinecken, Phil Chang, Julie Weber, and Sam Taylor-Wood.

Please join me in watching my photographs appear, and disappear, and let us consider the fleeting impermanence of materials, images, and time itself, through a medium that is meant to act as a time capsule.


#83 Tense and Measure in the “Dream-illusion” Noh theatre Atsumori (Nahoko Suzuki)

When the distance between the past and the present becomes zero, the catastrophic
past can be rewritten in the present moment to achieve religious salvation
In dream-illusion Noh theatre (mugen-nō), both audiences and protagonists can reach
religious salvation. To understand the salvation process, an in-depth analysis of “tense” of
the Noh text can be useful. By using the transcendental space, namely dreams, the passed
event (past perfect form) is incorporated in as what is currently in progress (present
progressive form); the past event, as a result, can be rewritten (present perfect form) from
the karmic catastrophe into religious salvation.
One example is the Noh-theatre Atsumori. It is a work that achieves the author’s intention to
purify both the sorrow of Atsumori, who is a tragic young nobleman of the Taira clan, and
the remorse of Kumagai Naozane, who had to slay Atsumori due to the battle. In the
dreams, the time interval between the past and the present becomes zero, and the past flows
into the present, so that the tragic slaying is rewritten in the present. As a result, the past
catastrophe is canceled and appeased.
In actual history, Naozane lived for more than 20 years after the slaying. This means that it
is possible to measure the time interval between the past and present time in term of years.
However, in this Noh-theatre, the time interval between the past and present becomes zero.
This means that the concept of the time goes beyond actual measurability. In spite of the
irrationality in this Noh-theatre, the audience gains the feeling that the past can be rewritten
in the present. What kind of device is construed to make the time interval between the past
and the present zero in the performing art of this Noh-theatre, and thus create a sense of
religious salvation by the annulment of measured time? The question will be examined from
the perspective of the work’s author and director.


#84 The body narrated. Shifting time zones in medieval legends and tales (Daniela Tan)

How is the body narrated in tales and legends of medieval Japan? Chronobiological time meets shifting time zones of the diegetic world. Buddhist educational stories derived from the Jataka tales meet folk legends and indigenous religious worldviews later included in Shinto.

In the classic collection of folk tales and legends such as the Konjaku Monogatari (Collection of Tales of Now and Past) and the earlier, oldest collection of Buddhist Setsuwatales, the Nihon ryōiki (Record of Miraculous Events in Japan), a world of miracles and magic opens up to the reader.

Whereas physical processes and timelines frame the narratives of monks, human beings, animals, vegetables, and an animistic natural environment, fractures become visible in the shifting flow of time of characters. Processes of aging are accelerated or reversed, and stages of maturity are overleaped, inverted, or intensified. What narrative intention can be revealed in analyzing this technique? Is it a deformed time or an account of the constant shifting of the ephemerality of human existence?

Not only time, shape, and gender are subject to constant change in the world of tales and legends. This paper focuses on the time of the body and its shapes within the magical world of teaching morals and entertaining.


#85The private law usage of time measures and their legal limits: The example of time bargain and futures (Andreas Thier)

Legal rules are of fundamental importance when it comes to making time measures binding for society, the economy and politics. This chronographic core function of law is vividly reflected, e. g., in laws such as the “Standard Time Law”. Legal rules on time limits or statutes of limitations, on forfeiture, or even on the necessary duration of custom as the basis for customary law, for their part translate measures of time into law.

Legal rules about time measure make it also possible to translate future developments into legal transactions. This is mainly done in the form of time bargains or so-called “futures”: In principle, one party undertakes to deliver a commodity, a good or a security to the other party at a certain date for a certain price. If the supplier succeeds in acquiring the owed goods at a cheaper price on the market by the delivery date, he makes a profit, otherwise he makes a loss. This combination of legal certainty in the form of the delivery date and the price agreement on the one hand and uncertainty about market developments on the other has repeatedly been compared to betting and gambling. This has led to the normative disapproval of such trades. In this way, legal limits have again been placed on the legal fixing of delivery dates, i.e. the use of time measures under contract law. The proposed lecture will explore this tension between legal time measures and the limitation of their use. A first section is devoted to the corresponding discourses in the early modern period. A second section will trace the debate on stock exchange futures in the 19th century, before looking at developments in the 20th century.


#87 Deep Field (Jol Thoms)

The human phenomenology of time is no longer adequate to how we organize, inflect and orient the systems we have created. We are tied to both deep past as well as deep future through, for example, the burning of fossil fuels while at the same time something like the hyper-accelerated temporality of high frequency trading can leak well beyond the realm of finance. These non-experiential temporalities shape the world we live in. We are reliant on a range of temporal measures to give us access to understanding time outside experience.

In 2020 Deep Field Projects (an interdisciplinary research studio) established an evolving artwork called The Atlas of Chronographic Things exploring multiple ways of conceiving of and thinking about time; how it is measured, how it is understood and how it is experienced. For the ISST conference we will present three individual works from the atlas and convene an interdisciplinary panel to discuss the themes involved. The works to be shown include:

1: Scalar Oscillations, 17 min. 2 channel video, 2018, made with the support of Arts at CERN. This work makes a distinction between time as it functions in physics and the daily experience of time’s flow. The video proposes temporal flow as a result of our physiology rather than something inherent to time itself. Perhaps to comprehend time we need to become something else, something beyond the bounds of the human as we currently define it. The reality of time is perhaps stranger than we have the capacity to imagine.

2:CIPHERS OF TIME II {EXPANSION}, 16 min video. (2013, HD, Color, Stereo) is part of a trilogy of videos produced using astronomical software containing 200,000 years of sky data. The videos scrub, zoom, and fly through those skies’ times from specific locations and historical events such as Galileo’s witnessing of the moons of Jupiter from Venice, or the first eclipse prediction by Thales in 585 BC from modern day Turkey. Excerpts from philosophical texts and poems punctuate the video with questions of perception, observation, time, chaos, reason, planetarity and cosmicity.

3: Rolodex of a Sneeze: On January 7 1894, Frederic P. Ott, a laboratory assistant of W.K.L. Dickson (inventor of the Kinetograph) stood before the world’s first movie camera and sneezed. The paradox of the forty-five frames of Record of a Sneeze is that it shows no sneeze − the droplets and globules of Ott’s explosion were too fast, too many or too small. Having eluded the Kinetograph, the sneeze spent more than a century in representational limbo; perpetually announced, perpetually failing to appear. The resulting sequence of photographs of the progression of the sneeze in space that are shown in the Rolodex are from the artists research for Ott’s Sneeze, in which the missing sneeze is reconstructed employing state of the art laser, video and computer technologies. The resulting sequence of photographs show the progression of the sneeze in space. The Rolodex gives the viewer frame by frame access to details of this otherwise inaccessible one second historical event, further commenting on the link between science and our ability to understand, account for and measure time.



Human perception includes a tensed intuition that prescribes a special status to present, distinct from past or future. Regardless of whether this intuition stems intrinsically from the neural nexus of our brains or laws of physics or whether it is a by-product of cultural indoctrination, probing methods to capture this intuition in a formal system remains a valuable inquiry. In my work, I motivate a formalism for a phenomenologically distinct agent-based present by introducing an operator called C-Operator. The domain of the C-operator is defined to capture the notion of change caused by an agent’s capacity to bring about a change in the world-state. A recursively defined domain of C-Operator, thus, represents the causal constraints on the agent which the agent perceives to be the phenomenologically distinct present. I demonstrate how coding basic rules and an initial world-state into a formal system can potentially lead to the emergent property of a dynamic and distinct present that recursively propagates in time (which the agent perceives as the ‘flow’ of present). Further, I demonstrate how the formalism is compatible with a deterministic view of future as well as a stochastic view of future. The work draws from aspects of temporal logic and physics and attempts to create a cohesive picture of the present that is compatible with our intuition. Towards the end, I discuss a crucial gap in the formalism that is rooted in a counter-intuitive mathematical theorem and motivate future work. The goal is to, at the very least, provide pragmatic model for temporal logicians to discuss the notion of present in a formal system.


#89 The Time-Measurement Crisis. Theoretical reflections on the unity or diversity of time(s) (Felipe Torres)

Social and cultural theorists have pointed out the measurement of time as one of the paramount features of modernity. The literature is vast as pleased in indicating the role of temporal instruments such as clocks and calendars in objectifying time (Adam 1995, Kern 2003, Birth 2012). Likewise, this objectifying phenomenon is also result of linear and scientific conceptions of time as a homogeneous and absolute that, in turn, it is therefore fostered and measured by the very time devices. In last decades, however, the time-objective conception has been defeated by scholarship stressing the limits and biases of that sort of time (mis)conception. Scholars criticizing the measure-time have indicated a variety of limits ranging from its one-dimensional understanding, reducing or deflating other time-experiences, as well as its western-scientific basis. These critics have opened the discussion for a more balanced time conception, especially among the temporal social and cultural studies. In this context, the goal of my presentation is twofold: 1) first, I will trace the underpinnings of the criticism of the measured-time, exposing its main theses as well to ponder some of their strength and weaknesses; and 2) I propose that those criticisms have contributed to nurture a more heterogeneous time-conception, opening the discussion of multiple times theories (Jordheim 2014; Sharma 2014; Torres 2021).


#90 Turns and Turnings (Frederik Turner)

Let us look at the success of postmodern (and post-Einsteinian, post-Fraserian) discovery, and see if that success can be replicated in our fundamental concepts of time measurement. The spirit of postmodern discovery involves two main moves away from classical modernist paradigms.

The first is a move from abstract principles to statistical and autopoietic emergent systems. Laws of science are not eternally given but emerge from events. In that spirit we no longer see the world as objects governed by principles but principles generated by objects.

The second change is a move away from measurement as the application of a (possibly faulty) measuring stick to a theoretically ascertainable quantity, to a comparison between two quantities, each deriving from their context (and thus partly from each other). Here faultiness and difficulty are systemic, accuracy a function of use and application.

Examples in physics are clear in relativity theory, in which a mass partly determines its own reference frame of space and time, and in quantum mechanics, where distinct quantities of mass and charge are the result of the mutual adjustment of entangled harmonics.

(We see this general move in the social sciences as well as the natural sciences–from planned to unplanned but regulated economies, from legal resolution of moral disputes to negotiated settlements, and from central bank currencies to blockchain-based currencies, for instance.)

Applying these strategies of understanding to space and time, we might speculate on the value of redefining the act of measuring them in such postmodern terms. In this sense space is measured not by units on an infinite eternal grid but by the number of objects that lie between one point-event and another, and “get in the way” of traveling from one to the other–that is, they force the traveler to take a turn and deal with them before they arrive. A context rich with stuff, like an English garden, contains a lot of space. Interstellar space contracts up to the limit of the speed of light.

Applying this concept to the measurement of time, we find that we are no longer using a (diminishingly-faulty) repeating mechanism to count the amount of an abstract eternal infinite medium in a particular situation. Instead we are reckoning the number of present-events that must be dealt with on the way between the two present-events whose separation we want to know, by making a turn for each. Time is now not an abstraction but the actual difficulty of the passage, the increase of the turns, the number of possible itineraries as the destinations in the traveling-salesman problem mount up.

This paper will include a fanciful illustrative comparison of Mars-time with Earth-time, a discussion of time quanta and the specious chronon, a few thoughts about the quasi-temporal nature of mathematical difficulty, and a meditation on the meaning of the word “verse” and the use of the “turn” in the “numbers” and “measures” of human poetry.



Scholarly paper: In the 16th century, “Cemilhuitlaplapohualtepoztli” meant “clock” to the indigenous peoples of Mexico. This neologism was shaped by themselves through three words from the Nahual language: “cemilhui” (the passing of a day); “tlapoaliztli” (to count); and “tepoztli” (bell or iron). This linguistic evidence, in conjunction with other documents found in Spanish and Latin American archives, unfolds that autochthonous people came into early contact with these mechanisms and promptly assimilated quantified time. Historiography has neither recorded the presence of indigenous clockmakers in the New World, nor has it explored the relationship they had with European schedules after their contact with the Spaniards. Over and above exposing the cases of some indigenous clockmakers, this paper intends to go beyond the general comments that focus on the imposing role played by the Catholic Church with its canonical hours, to unveil that the appropriation by the indigenous peoples of a more accurate and quantified time took place in the offices of the colonial administration and not in the churches and parishes. This type of time, numerical, synthetic and to some extent secularized, allowed the inhabitants of the Old and New World to synchronize with each other, beyond their ethnic and linguistic differences. This research on the expansion of clocks to the New World seeks to propose the genesis of a time that today is exhibited to us as universal through the clock, which does not signify that other ways of measuring time or of perceiving it have been eliminated, but quite the contrary: from the 16th century onwards, quantified time and schedules allowed that a steadily growing number of individuals were able to coordinate themselves despite the different rhythms and temporalities.



In his book ‘The Revolution in Time: Chronology, Modernity and 1688-89 in England’ (2020) the British historian Tony Claydon focusses upon ‘conceptual changes that are supposed to have occurred after the medieval centuries, and which are thought to have modernized temporal awareness’ (2020, 5). Claydon distinguishes seven such changes, i.e. in other words seven ‘shifts in temporal awareness’. These changes refer to the following aspects of temporality: placement of events in time, secularization of time, move from ‘full’ to ‘empty’ time, destabilization of the ‘present’, cyclical replaced by linear time, acceleration of time and, finally, previous times ceasing to be typological. Claydon analyses these aspects within the context of the political changes in England leading to and resulting from the ‘Glorious Revolution’, 1688. Furthermore, Claydon – in the course of his analysis – not merely presents the opposing sides of these conceptual changes, thereby highlighting the distinguishing aspects of the respective changes. Rather, he equally aims at analysing the interconnectedness of the concepts involved. This, in turn, enables him to underline the various interdependencies and order of steps among these conceptual shifts. In my paper, I shall, first of all, present a critical analysis and review of Claydon’s reasoning. I shall then, in a second step, aim at a rewording of the results of Claydon’s research and argumentation – namely, in order to rephrase his findings in more general terms not being directly connected to the events and developments before and after 1688-1689. Thereby, I intend to analyse, as well, the question how historians should reflect upon such changing instances of temporal awareness, as I argue that understanding these changes and their interdependencies as well as interwovenness would be of considerable significance when measuring time from the point of view of a historian.


#104Sound Archive as Temporal Framing: Kazakh Sıbızğı, A Time-Folding Instrument (Xiaoshi Wei)

Musical performances lead to temporal experiences that are both made and needed by performers and listeners, non-linearly linking the present and past historical times. People treat the multi-layered nature of time for such temporal experiences both as entertainment and serious rituals. Sıbızğı is a bi-phonic type of flute that used to be performed in the Kazakh gatherings in Xinjiang and Inner Asia. Each sıbızğı tune relates to a unique folktale; of ancient warriors, modern rebel heroes, animals and hunters, birds and totems, orphans, and famous poets of the Kazakhs. The source stories come from the 10th through the 20th century Eurasian Steppes. Since the 1970s, the performance of sıbızğı has been documented in private sound archives, and later distributed on TV, radio, and the Internet. My research
concerns how time, in such an archival act, is malleable and multifaceted, depending on people’s ideas about their history, nation, and ethnic clan. I will highlight musical pieces about Altaic hunters and animals, and analyze the motifs and narrative rhetoric of these tune’s variations, before revealing how activities of archiving open the possibility for people to create temporal experiences and meanings about the music by using images from various historical times. I will also discuss the relevance between the audible archives to their tangible counterparts – petroglyphs found on migration routes and şecire, private written books of Kazakh clan genealogy. I argue that archival recordings constitute “temporal framings” for historical times. The openness of temporal experiences also represents a dual mentality for Kazakhs in China who perform on state-sponsored stages: the multilayered sense of Kazakh cultural time is at odds with a narrow, linear temporal narrative imposed by Chinese state authority.


#108Key Note Speech: Time in the Anthropocene (Jan Zalasiewicz)

The Anthropocene is the briefest and in many ways the most extraordinary geological time interval in the Earth’s 4.54 billion year history. Just over 70 years in duration—one human lifetime—it has seen unprecedented acceleration of many geological processes, to change the long-term trajectory of our planet’s evolution. Phenomena such as markedly (and increasingly) perturbed element cycles, landscape reshaping, novel materials generation and biotic homogenization are producing new stratal patterns, often strikingly different from those of the deep time rock record. Many of the changes are driven by a new Earth sphere, the technosphere, in which this new planetary acceleration is most intensely characterized. Currently, we are far from the kind of generally steady and stable state that has characterized most of Earth’s duration, and a range of outcomes is possible in the geologically near future.


1 Nikole Hannah-Jones, Introductory Essay, 1619 Project, New York Times, August 14, 2019 https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/black-history-american-democracy.html; Fabio Spirinelli, “Empowering Hstory: On the Role of Historians in Today’s Society,” April 23, 2020 https://www.c2dh.uni.lu/thinkering/empowering-history-role-historians-todays-society