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Your Time is

not my Time

De Appel Arts Centre




Let’s start by stating the obvious: the hypercirculation and overconsumption of images has generated a new way of perceiving and behaving – we copy, remix, share, and circulate. We are producers of data, and circulation has become a form of currency itself. We are not viewers, nor authors: we are users.


The amassing amount of information distributed through clouds and other storage facilities has made erasure of data virtually impossible. Thus, although immaterial, the data proves to be more persistent than the apparatus that accommodates it. Nonetheless, those systems seem to be the only way to keep us in relation with our own data, and taking center-stage when we access it, operating as a prosthesis for our bodies.


Your Time Is Not My Time includes work by artists who have embraced novel forms of usership into their work. One in which boundaries between audience and producer are blurring, and the notion of authorship continues to expand, while, equally well, it ceases to exist.


During a presentation on the evolution of cinema from the magic lantern to the smartphone, Simona Monizza, experimental film curator at the Eye Museum mentioned that within the last hundred years of image-making - perception, cognition and illusion remained, and the only thing that changed is the evolution of the apparatus. Within this evolution, effective and affective social mediations have been developed, which includes the idea of the "individual watching the external surveilance of others."[1] The exhibition title Your Time Is Not My Time was taken from a conversation between Rirkrit Tiravajina and Apichatpong Weerasethakul for the Bangkok Experimental Film Festival in 2011. Both artists discussed the gleaming difference with how we view films today from the past. "We have more speed and information driven by this time and that It's necessary to think and rethink the approach to ones own time and place, and perhaps, in life."[2]  We have been exploring the mechanisms behind the frame, as it creates an autonomy of its own.[3]


The changing public sphere[4], both on- and off line, comes with a different set of rules and expectations. We are not using online tools as innocently as we used to, we are aware of the implications it has and it has lead to a renewed interest in one's locality and its sociopolitical landscape. Moving away from the notion of the global village, the current user sources and shares his online content on a personally adapted range of media, some of which are available globally, others catering to more niche audiences. The commodification of our most shared space has raised awareness among its users for a more personal, or personalized, form of communication through interfaces. Media-savvy users long for a personal touch, a certain “authenticity.”[5]


People are now to govern themselves. They demand access to accurate information. A private citizen can now garner control of the power to inform to persuade, educate, debate, innovate. A mutual  correspondence between political opinions of the private people and a quasi-public is developed.


Brian Kuan Wood’s text, “Is It Love?” published in e-flux suggests an alternative, imagined world with an economy of love; an ecosystem where social relations and affection surpass the ruling order of our current financial system. Metahaven’s work, City Rising, directly deals with this, juxtaposing the work of Constant (New Babylon), a transnational tribe addicted to each other, coping with capitalism, and going with the changes of the current structures of labor.  Wood calls it the economization of empathy, where solidarities are formed to compensate inequalities of the capital.[6]


Žižek uses an example of someone who lets the VCR record movies, without watching them and feeling profoundly satisfied about it. He lets the VCR ‘enjoy’ the film for him as it were. The VCR watches movies on behalf of the user. The object is active instead of the subject, who’s passive. And while it’s at it, we have time for something else. Like its’ title, the exhibition embraces the hypercirculation of data and image, and, following the scheme of a playlist, adapts this to a custom-fit mode of cognition and perception. Instead of dreading the fear of missing out and the struggle between passivity and overstimulation, a more personally adapted use of means is granted within the context of a gain or a void - in a network of forged relationships fueled by empathy and confronted by an interface.


Barbara Cueto, Bas Hendrikx & Lian Ladia


[1] Taylor, Paul. Zizek and the Media. UK: Pollity Press, 2010. Print.

[2] Gaweewong, Gridthiya. "Apichatpong Weerasethakul talks with Rirkrit Tiravanija on art, film & etc." Bangkok Experimental Film Festival, 2011. Web. 21 January 2011. <>

[3] Žižek, Slavoj. The Parallax View. USA: The MIT Press, 2006. Print.

[4] The changing public sphere is a condition that information technology writers like Howard Rheingold use to refer to Jürgen Habermas concept of structural transformation and the public sphere.

[5] Authenticity is a term Erica Balsom discussed in her article titled, Against the Novelty of New Media; The Resuscitation of the Authentic.

[6] Kuan Wood, Brian. "Is it Love?" e-flux, 2014. Web. <>

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