CTS – Chronotopia

Today we talked about time and meaning and how they relate. Or don’t relate. It’s confusing.

Chrono-topic drugs affected your perception of time. We will be discussing narrative time, including the time within a story and the time span of a story. Also a more “subtle” kind of time to do with the sense of time within an inch.

Andrei Tarkovsky was a soviet film make who made films that had a “poetic use of time”.


Andrei Tarkovsky 

“We’re talking about geological time as opposed to the lifespan of, say, a mouse”

The duration of a living organism proves that time is limited and time is valuable. What it’s like to be a fly is to live for 24 hours, what it’s like to be a human is to live for the rough time-span of 90 years.

Time seems to fly by when you’re having fun but when you are bored, for example when you are young and during the summer holidays it seems to drag on forever.

So time is relative.


Would time fly by or go slowly if you were on a desert island?

How is time organized?

Time is of the essence suggests that time is important and valuable, maybe the most important and valuable thing that there is.

Time flies when you are having fun.

“pure duration is the form which the succession of our conscious states assumes when our ego lets itself live, when it refrains from separating its present state from its former states…we can thus conceive of succession without distinction, and think of it as a mutual penetration, an interconnection and organization of elements, each one of which represents the whole, and cannot be distinguished or isolated from it except by abstract thought” (Bergson 1910: 100-101)



“Many of Bergson’s characterizations of duration are negative – he tells us a good deal about what is not, but comparatively little about what it actually is. While this can sometimes be frustrating, there is a rationale for it: Bergson held that any attempt to conceptualize the flux of consciousness could succeed only at the cost of distorting the phenomena” Hugo (Martin Scorsese, 2011)


Martin Scorsese

“The relation of experience to time has not been profoundly studied. Its objects are given as being of the present, but the part of time referred to by the datum is a very different thing from the (link between) the past and the future which philosophy denotes by the name Present.

The present to which the datum refers is really  a part of the past – a recent past – (deceptively) given as being a time that intervenes between the past and the future.

The perfect prototype of all conceive times (measured or otherwise) is the specious present” William James


William James

Edmund Husserl may not have adopted the term “specious present”, but he did hold that we have a seemingly direct awareness of change and persistence among the objects and processes we perceive over short intervals.

The three components are: primal impressions, retention (or primary memory) and protentions.


Edmund Husserl

Our sense of time does not just involve a retention of the past. It also includes our anticipation of the future. When a person hears what she interprets as a familiar melody, she anticipates its notes. Her expectation of what is coming is fulfilled as the melody unfolds. A similar process occurs when your each for a glass. As your arm moves toward it, the fingers of your hand open to its anticipated shape. Your arm extends to its anticipated distance. Grasping the glass, you apply just enough strength to lift its anticipated weight.

The interpretation brings with it an anticipation of what will be experienced.

Sergei Eisenstein


You can see the flow of time in the storyboard for Sergei Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky.