Heroic Modernism, Atemporality, Design Fiction, Network Culture, Retrofuturism & spaceships.

For more info : http://nevolution.typepad.com/theories/2011/08/heterochronia.html

The question at which we now arrive is the question with which Gibson himself seems to have been faced: If traditional science fiction tells stories through an imagined future, how does one tell those stories in a vital and sensible way when the boundaries between past, present, and future are constantly eroding?

The answer that Gibson seems to have hit upon–and the answer to which other authors seem to be looking as well–is to do away with the tradition, and with it, the constraints of temporal setting. Gibson’s current work maintains the sensibilities and the flavor of science fiction, but his stories are set in the present, and are about the present–in a present so nebulous that it could pass for recent past or near future, or some parallel universe. His fiction reflects atemporality. It embraces the blurring of the lines.

(Source: cunicode.com)

We can therefore draw an important distinction between abandoned and ruined in the case of digital space; one doesn’t necessarily assume the other. I would argue that this has implications for how we experience time in these spaces. In the latter case, we experience the passage of time in the physical evidence of what time has done; time leaves a very evident mark. In the former, we experience the passage of time by virtue of how nothing has changed at all; an abandoned digital space is marked by emptiness and staticity.

“Of course,” he says, “we have no idea, now, of who or what the inhabitants of our future might be. In that sense, we have no future. Not in the sense that our grandparents had a future, or thought they did. Fully imagined cultural futures were the luxury of another day, one in which ‘now’ was of some greater duration. For us, of course, things can change so abruptly, so violently, so profoundly, that futures like our grandparents’ have insufficient ‘now’ to stand on. We have no future because our present is too volatile. … We have only risk management. The spinning of the given moment’s scenarios. Pattern recognition.” (page 57)

“atemporality”–the loss of a single authoritative source for the narratives with which we identify and define the passage of time, and the desituation of our narratives in what we perceive of as linear time.

The future is there,” Cayce hears herself say, “looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become. And from where they are, the past behind us will look nothing at all like the past we imagine behind us now.

(via kchayka)



Intermittent autolinking on the title page, verso, and table of contents.

From A Defence [sic.] of the Exposition of the Doctrine of the Church of England by William Wake (1686). Original from the Bavarian State Library. Digitized February 6, 2012.

Ye olde hyperlinks.

Bruce Sterling. Atemporality & The Passage of Time. 2009 1/11 (by egsvideo)