Western society is often described as ‘instant network society’ or ‘digital society’, suffering from increasing time pressure, hurriedness and the scarcity of time. Today’s temporal system is undergoing perpetual change, especially influenced and altered by new technologies. Subsequently, these digital technologies are shaping our temporal experience, and play a determining part in forming and reconfiguring us to who we are, as digital bodies. But what drives our temporal existence?
Western society is often described as ‘instant network society’ or ‘digital society’, suffering from increasing time pressure, hurriedness and the scarcity of time. But what drives our temporal existence?
During childhood, we encode the specific cultural temporality of our societal environment, almost like another sense; the sense of time becomes an unquestioned fact, part of our personality, and understanding of the world. Unintentionally, we embody the rhythm and speed of digital life. However, the natural rhythmicity of the human biological clock conflicts with such contemporary algorithmic structures and inhumane rhythms. My research and design practice investigates an understanding and reactivation of bodily rhythms. I propose a new perceptions of time through the application of uchronia — a term derived from the Greek word ou-chronos meaning ‘ no time ’ or ‘ non-time’, and from utopia, from the Greek ou-topos.
It investigates uchronia as temporal utopia and in the way it generates insights about our knowledge of contemporary temporality. I investigate practical work which challenges thought patterns regarding the temporal structure of contemporary life, in which participants explore alternative time-givers or Zeitgeber, in order to think outside the boundaries of clocks and calendars. I aim to stimulate a public discussion about imposed external time versus internal bodily rhythms. By providing a broadened definition of uchronianism, I establish uchronia as a platform for critical thought and debate on the contemporary time crisis, with chronodesign as a practical design initiative.