This workshop investigated the possibilities for a new politics of time by exploring the potential of uchronian thinking. ‘Uchronia’ (Greek for non-time) opens up an unexplored space for thinking about new ways of understanding and using time. The role of uchronian thought is to ask: What time-culture is worth striving for, and what is the set of criteria by which to organise societal time?
In this week-long workshop, students were asked to ‘unlearn’ societal time and develop criteria for their own temporal system, based on their beliefs and feelings. In a 48-hour immersive group experiment, they explored their own system in three experimental spaces (former library space, pink mansion, old pumping station). Subsequently, they visualise and discuss their findings at a symposium and exhibition at the Rotherhithe Library in London.
Photo Credits: Dominic Tschudin and RCA Students: Joanne Chan, Laura Gottlieb, Khusboo Gupta Khandelwal, Sarah Kilkenny, Hyeyeun Lee, Kristian Vistrup Madsen, Dah Ye Noh, Molly Richards, Charles Rickleton, Francesco Tacchini, Adam Waldron, Boran Wei
Thank you to Lise Hovesen, Amy Griffith, Amelia Groom, Kosta Tonev, Dr Florian Schweiger, Alison and Matthew Grey
Across RCA, Royal College of Art
In this performance participants dive from a dyschronian to a uchronian scenario–from a digital time hell to heaven.
A sound and text fragment performance in relation to hyper-accelaration processes.
Z33, Thinklab 2 @ WTC25, Brussels, Belgium, 2018
Information Experience Design, Royal College of Art, 2017
There are those who think their bodies don’t exist. (…) When their stomach growls, they look at their watch to see if it is time to eat. Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman
Ten RCA students formed an independent time community. They were removed from societal time – left alone – reduced to their bodies. The transitions from active to rest phases was very fluid, and not at all related to the contemporary fragmentation of time (or alarm clocks). They described their experience as Lightman wrote:
They do not keep clocks in their houses. Instead, they listen to their heartbeats. They feel the rhythms of their moods and desires. Such people eat when they are hungry, go to their jobs (…) whenever they wake from sleep, make love all hours of the day. Such people laugh at the thought of mechanical time. They know that time moves in fits and starts.
Photo Credits: Michelle Brand, Andrew Bell, Jiahua Chen, Benton Ching, Teddy Choi, Baohan Jiang, Shiyuan Hu, Giorgia Scavo, Tomi Laukkanen, Jiechen Zhang, Meng ZhouThank you to Jessie Teggin, The Quadrangle Trust
Across RCA, Royal College of Art, 2017
By changing space, by leaving the space of one’s usual sensibilities, one enters into communication with a space that is psychically innovating … For we do not change place, we change our nature.
—The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard
In the workshop students get a set of instructions to explore London in an uncommon way—in other words, to get lost. For example, one instruction says: ‘When you hear music, take the next left turn and sing the first tune that comes into your mind with the intention of implanting an ear-worm in a recipient’s mind.’ The students are asked to make notes and capture their experiences as a basis of a narrative to develop further on.
In collaboration with Michaela French and Dr Emily Photo Credits: Dr Emily Candela, Information Experience Design, Royal College of Art, 2015-17
© Helga Schmid, 2018. Site by Our Place.