After a few months of editing and learning how to put together a publication, Morten and I are happy to be able to share a translation of his work on time, art and society: “Towards a New Time Culture – Conceptual and Perceptual Tools”. The text is available to read online or download here, and Morten has also written a blog post, which you can find here, introducing the text. We will run a small number of print pamphlets as well, printing in April and May only, so if you’d like to receive one of these get in touch soon. It’s been an enjoyable process to help put this together, and I think the result is incomparable (not least due to having a superb translator on our team). Check it out – read, share and join the conversation over on time-culture.net. This is the foreword I wrote for the text.
In late 2011 I was on the phone with Morten explaining how I as grappling with this strange sensation that I had been catapulted through the year. Looking back at it, I could not quite understand how what felt like several years in emotional and mental time mapped onto such a short span of calendar time. As it happened, he was then working on his thesis about the relationships between time, art and society1, and my conjecture resonated with some of the concepts and thinking he had been ruminating. This was the beginning of a collaborative exploration based on our intuition that finding a new relationship with time is at the heart of coming to new ways of seeing that lie beyond mechanistic and progressive worldviews.
Since its beginning time culture has revolved around dialogue: it grew out of a lifelong conversation between Morten and I and has been nourished by plenty of other conversations along the way. A first impetus was provided by Dougald Hine’s invitation to write a piece for Despatches from to Invisible Revolution2 (this was the essay that became Repossessing the future) and it was sustained by further dialogue with friends and strangers both online and in first life.
Thank you to everyone who has pollinated this project whether through engaging with the ideas or helping us raise the little bit of money that was needed to produce this publication. It is our hope that this pamphlet, our online home (www.time-culture.net), and continuing dialogue go some way in providing a platform and a language for building a new time culture.
It has been a thoroughly rewarding process to edit this text. Revisiting the key ideas has brought out a new depth and clarified insights that I had previously glanced only sideways. A new time culture means (re)grounding our relationship with time. And this in turn asks us to find ways of comprehending the multiplicity of temporalities that unfold in our surroundings. Morten is discovering a set of effective conceptual tools which we can use as a stepping stone into new analytic and perceptual practices – a set of tools within the larger kit we need to reconnect with the time of nature and our planet.
Special thanks go to Peter Holm-Jensen3: it is out of his generosity and sublime feel for language that you are reading these words.
—Jeppe Graugaard, Norwich, 09/02/13
1 Morten Svenstrup (2012) Tid, kunst og samfund – Et bidrag til kompositionen af en ny tidskultur. MA thesis.
2 D. Hine and K. Kahn-Harris (Eds) Despatches from to Invisible Revolution – New Public Thinking #1: Reflections on 2011. PediaPress, 2012