The Museum of Vestigial Desire

Duration

tags: summer published on:

Our attention is not continuous. It is only in patches. For a patchy attention-span, to be able to register what is happening, we need to be flexible about what we can offer. We need to be able to sense the subtle events as well as be tune into the macro scheme of things. All surfaces are suspended within a media of time. So, we need to exist in micro-time and macro-time simultaneously.

To be able to do this, we need to loosen the concept of a moment that we have been holding on to. We need to understand this moment as any sequence of continuity. A continuity of experience can be understood as an uninterrupted stream. Like jumping off from a building, till you hit the ground and die, nothing else registers. Try it out.

Basically continuities can be long and they can be short. Likewise durations can be big and durations can be small. This moment does not need to be broken down into the specific frames of perception to be able to talk about it.

If durations can be long and short, then the notion of the surface becomes more complex. Because surfaces are not designed to operate instantaneously. Each works within a different duration so to be able to skim and hold certain surfaces, a more substantial channel of attention needs to be offered. It might seem that this substantial channel of attention is similar to the idea of depth and there might be a fear that this idea will take us down the path of unattainable knowledge. But these ideas are not similar and they are not related.

Along with a substantial channel of attention, what we do is configure the intensity of this attention. Speed does not need to be related to time in a linear fashion. These two can also be related in a complex way. The more substantial a channel of attention needed, the more intense the attention can be so that longer and shorter durations can operate within the same construct of time.

This suggests that participants in this knowledge system need to have a flair for configuring the quality of attention that they are able of offer. This configuration is enacted on the basis of the kind of duration requested by the media in question.

But on the whole the system still performs in a similar way. Surfaces can still be skimmed and grasped in seemingly instantaneous ways.

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