Temporal Politics and Banal Culture
Before the Future
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after January 17, 2022
This book addresses the absence of orientations to the future in contemporary social life and explores the shift towards anomalous temporal experience as a tool to rouse political imaginations. In the face of the failings of the modern myth of progress and recognising the dangers of utopianism, it argues, we have entered into a kind of dystopia - brutal or seemingly benign - of the continual-present that is resistant to systemic change but is nevertheless animated through cycles of novelty and obsolescence. Exploring a condition in which we are out of ideas and facing a ‘non-future’ of blind technical improvement and fear, the author examines the heterochronia of eerie atmospheres and temporal suspensions. A temporality of possibility is explored in strange dimensions of otherwise mundane sites and experiences: non-places of logistic spaces and ex-urban landscapes; boredom connected to digital media; and abandoned sites and the obsolescence of banal objects. Drawing on contemporary social and cultural theory, together with thought in urban geography and media studies, the book applies its theoretical position to a series of vignettes of key sites and experiences in order to advance and refine its conceptual position. Through an elliptical and generative approach, they present analyses of zones where novelty collapses and where figures of defiance and possibility might emerge, perhaps constituting the possibility of overcoming current impasses. A rigorous theoretical examination of contemporary life and culture, grounded in a close examination of sites and material examples, Temporal Politics and Banal Culture: Before the Future, will appeal to scholars of social theory, sociology, cultural geography, cultural studies and social philosophy.
Table of Contents
1. Into Logistic Grey Zones
2. Obsolete Wastes of Time: Boredom by Way of Alien Junk Consciousness
3. The Enigma of Kitsault
Peter Conlin is a writer and researcher based in Birmingham, UK. He has completed post-doctoral research at the Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, and is a co-facilitator of the Boredom Network research group. He is currently developing the Time Lapse podcast which is an interview series with theorists, activists and artists on temporal politics of the 21st century.