In the 13 years following the French Revolution in 1798, France lived by a new, decimal time which promised to rationalise the day. This short-lived experiment foreshadowed the changes wrought on time by industrial capitalism, described by John Berger in And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief As Photos: the arrival of railways bringing with it regularised timetables, and so regularised time. And yet, as Berger argues, “the notion of a uniform time, within which all events can be temporally related, depends upon the synthesising capacity of a mind”.
To the extent that we live our lives to clock work, we all work to uphold the fiction of the clock. But we also know of the mysteries it leaves behind. In the lyrics to Another Day in America, Laurie Anderson offers a distinctive “theory of punctuation: instead of a period at the end of each sentence, there should be a tiny clock that shows you how long it took you to write that sentence”.
What are the ways in which time might escape its keepers? When is it moving, still, slippery, solvent, shared, subversive? What does this kind of time do to the fabric of a capitalist world? As artist Mladen Stilinović proposes, maybe we need to search for lazy time.
For Something Other’s sixth chapter, On Clockwork we invite considerations of clockwork, and with it reflections on time: the time of writing, the time of thinking, the time of living.
We are interested in experiments in writing that disrupt linearity and dam flow, that merge endings with beginnings, and lure or even thwart the synthesising capacities of the mind. These will be presented in two (overlapping) ways: as chapters in an online publication of performative writing, and live performance of digital texts.
We welcome submissions in all formats, including text, image, video, and experiments in between. Our only constraint is our publishing platform (WordPress). We are open to ideas. We are interested in writing that has a critical engagement with the real world, as well as with language as a material.
Contributors who are based in or have easy access to London are also invited to perform their submissions at our live event, Something Other Live on Tuesday 26 June 2018. SOL is a free, non-ticketed event, with all proceeds raised for a nominated charity. Our nominated charity for ‘On Clockwork’ is Time Bank.
Please send submissions to email@example.com by 10am on Friday 1 June 2018. If you have any questions, please get in touch via the same email address.
Something Other is a collaborative project hosted by Mary Paterson, Maddy Costa and Diana Damian Martin.