Natasha Lushetich


In the digital age, time is fragmented not because it is accelerated, but, rather, time appears accelerated because things and objects have become disposable. For Byung-Chul Han, mythical time [anchored in the figure of god] was immobile; it was like an image. Historical time [anchored in the figure of the human being] had the form of a line running towards a goal. When the narrative of the line’s teleological tension disappeared [when the anchor moved from the human being to the machine], the line decomposed into points, which now vacillate without a goal (Han 2016). For the experiential subject, life is no longer divided into beginnings, endings, thresholds, or passages. Rather, one is in a hurry to get from one discontinuous present to another, which produces contra-temporality – bafflement, temporal displacement, and somatic awkwardness.

Methodologically situated in phenomenology, this paper broaches the gimmick, ubiquitously embedded in gadgets, software, adverts, mash-ups, tunes, gestures, emoticons, vibrating phones, and, more generally, human-computer interaction, honing in on two key aspects of gimmick-ification: its ludic matrix; and its capacity to act as an existential refrain. By inscribing the gimmick in the (neo) avant-gardist tradition of impulsive action (Craven); citation (from Duchamp to Emin); repetition as difference (from Cage to di Scipio); and ‘just-likings’ (Flynt and Fluxus) it articulates its fetishistic nature embedded in mnemotechnical processes.

→ SLSA 2017 Out of Time