Lost Time Never:

“Strategy is the art of making use of time and space. I am less concerned about the latter than the former. Space we can recover, lost time never.” Napoleon Bonaparte

Paper for Input-Outputs conference Brighton 2013

As Nam June Paik intuits in his 1976 article “input‐time and output‐time” [11] our experience and expression of time and events are not connected to each other in a linear fashion. As a result the incidents that create what we decide to express can have little or no relationship to each other, illustrated in the example of Proust, where a momentary incident of childhood takes a lifetime to express [12]. In this sense input-time vs. output-time in our expressions and our creative acts is necessarily unequal.

If we take these experiential aspects of time and lay them side by side against the abstracted tempo of technology and time-based media, we see a deepening contrast. The sensations of input in a given experience are balanced against the expression of the effects of the engagement into the interaction itself. The rules of temporality at the fundament of digital media cross changes in contemporary language when considering and comparing representations of time.

This presents new challenges to researchers and artists seeking to create digital experiences while allowing for representations and expression of personalised time. From Lifelogging to notions of the Quantified Self [13] we see these contradictions and collisions becoming increasingly apparent and we ask with Martin and Holtzman: “If everyone says time is relative, why is it still so rigidly defined?” [10]

Full paper in .pdf format. Dan buzzo: lost time never