The shape of time: Reconsidering time in the context of pervasive media

London Underground Railway MapFascinate Conference 2013, Falmouth, UK, 28th – 30th August, 2013.

Within contemporary research discussion in interaction design, HCI and pervasive media the word time is commonly used to represent a wide variety of meanings, concepts and dimensions. Often this is without differentiation between contradictory interpretations of the simple word that belies complex relationships with our world and increasingly with media. The discussion or the experience of time can be traced to many sources, from Heraclitus and the river of time, Husserl’s phenomenological concepts and the Bergsonian interpretations of time to empirical measurements of the swinging pendulum of Captain Clock conflicting concepts of time are freely used to discuss media and interaction.

As Chen and Boroditsky argue even the languages we speak influence how we conceive of and verbalise our ideas of time and the effects this has on our lives. This paper considers the issues of how to describe, compartmentalise and resolve the seemingly conflicting concepts of time using the consideration of time as a volume orthogonal to three dimensional space. Taking examples from digital culture, pervasive media, life logging and the quantified self the paper argues for a new analysis of concepts of time as discussed within contemporary digital media research and HCI practice.
Full paper in .pdf format : FASCINATE2013 The shape of time