by stronged

Vimeo link:

This clip popping up on my radar occurred in immediate succession of a late night drive out into the country listening to ABC Classic FM. Both seemed to mirror my current thoughts around the notion of Ernst’s “time-criticality.” The musicians were speaking of how the tempo alters with every new musical partnership, no matter what is written on the sheet. Each musician brings with them a certain pace and demeanour that can be perceived as an ingredient in a dish. When these ingredients come together, actualising a recipe and cuisine or piece of music, a unique creative expression materialises. Similarly, the time-critical nature of the fog is emphasised with the help of the Kino Eye as it drifts and swells across the San Francisco valley. We do not see fog as a living system when we are immersed in it, it is only in the context of time that we see it as a multifarious being. The patterns that time creates, be it a piece of music realised by the intricate interchange of musicians or a fine vapour of water suspended across the earth responding to climactic changes, temporality enables connections to be made and therefore life to exist.

On another note…

I’m not certain that spatial montage belongs at the same quality of narrative understanding than temporal montage. Like Adrian writes,  ‘it is the montage(which is the temporal part) that matters the most.’ Montage seems to be always temporal. Even exposed to a spatial interface where a mosaic of information is presented to us, we unpack this information sequentially (often from left to right as we decode Western syntax). As our eyes dart around an interface, we read each piece of information in a temporal sequence of events. Sure, we are able to ingest multiple units of information at the same time, but not to the same extent of focusing upon one at a time. Our peripheral awareness is no match to our central, focused vision. It comes down to our physiological make-up, rod cells versus cone cells.

However, if we approach temporal and spatial montage using Propp’s theory of syuzhet and fabula or Saussure’s syntagm and paradigm, spatial montage acts as our innate understanding of the information presented to us sequentially. This imprinted knowledge – that we accumulate from various external and internal sources – affects our reading of the temporal montage. So, does this mean our spatial reading is the sifting back through our prior thoughts and experiences to construe the information in a broader context, rather than a local context that is experienced temporally? I feel I am going around in circles here.

As an aside note, I disagree with Adrian in regards to place staying “still” or fixed. Place is as temporal as any other type of media processing. Space, on the other hand, by Ryan’s rationale, is empty and infinite. Place, on the other hand, as Yi-Fu Tuan (1977) explains, is created by a “special ensemble” (Lukermann, 1964, pp. 70) of space and (temporal) history. Therefore a binary relationship exists in order to formulate our perception of a place. We need to have experienced two spaces in order to establish them as places, for a binary definition is relational/comparative.

Once a place is established, it does not remain fixed. It is in a constant state of flux, as Adrian explains in his blog post describing circular hypertext narratives. Even if we return to the same place, our perception of it has been altered from our prior experience. A diachronic understanding is ever-changing for time does not stop.