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The Crackle of Contemporaneity

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There comes a time to move beyond asking the broad question “What is contemporaneity?” to consider more acute ways in which this question can be traced and signalled. We consider the notion of signal to be particularly appropriate in the consideration of contemporaneity, since signals are a constitutive element of contemporary infrastructures and our experience of time even if they are relatively undetectable. They operate underneath human perceptual thresholds as carriers, controllers, and codes, while also surfacing into perceptual and semiotic registers, as signs across various media—textual, visual, and, of course, sonic—all the while accessible as traces. Perhaps in this way it is possible to experience contemporaneity at a range of different scales— from the microtemporal to the planetary—to register both our closeness and distance from it (Agamben 2009), and to exemplify how times come together disjunctively in the present.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFutures of the contemporary : contemporaneity, untimeliness, and artistic research
EditorsPaulo de Assis, Michael Schwab
Number of pages18
Place of publicationGhent
PublisherLeuven University Press
Publication year2019
Pages97-114
ISBN (print)9789462701830
Publication statusPublished - 2019
SeriesOrpheus Institute Series

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