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Practicing Divergent Temporalities : Duration, Slowness, Listening

Foivi Psevdou


This research project establishes links between the subject of normative temporality, urban everyday life, and durational performance art. It questions how western humans perceive, use, and practice time in the 21st century and aims at composing an artistic practice of divergent temporalities. It focuses on temporality as a culturally specific perception of time and as a bodily relation with time within space by bridging cultural studies of time, physics, and philosophy of time. Russell West-Pavlov’s Temporalities (2013) makes visible the normative temporal attributes of measurability, homogeneity, and predictability. Byung-Chul Han’s The scent of time (2017) exposes the entanglement of normative temporality with the absolute value of work.
The research project introduces temporality of productivity as the temporal norm of neoliberal societies. It consolidates three consequences of normative temporality: separation of time and space, disembodied perception of time, and acceleration as diminishing of in- between time. With autoethnography, I focus on walking pace and using clocks as daily habits of mine shaped by temporality of productivity. I attempt to interrupt normative temporality and engender qualities of time that the western sociopolitical environment is in lack of. Henri Bergson’s notion of duration, Jacques Derrida’s temporality of hospitality, and Han’s ‘vita contemplativa’ propose temporal features that diverge from established norms: non-measurable perception of time, multiplicity, heterogeneity, awaiting the unexpected, attending to in-between time.

Supervisor: Dr. Mariella Greil

External Mentor: Marilyn Arsem

Keywords: slowness, autoethnography, walking, time, durational performance art

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