“Record of the Time” by spatula and barcode

Wednesday, 26 June 2013 through Sunday, 30 June 2013
PSi 19 at Stanford
Blog Response by Kellen Hoxworth

In addition to the various multi-media archives of the conference — including this one, the “PSi19 at Stanford” Facebook page, and  the Twitter Archive — a durational, collaborative performance has taken place through the direction of spatula and barcode. Their piece, “Record of the Time,” offers a polyvocal series of temporal “snapshots” generated through random voluntary participation from conference-goers. Each registered attendee was offered a random time (mine was 0800) on a random date. Attendees were encouraged to share their thoughts, moments, activities, encounters, etc., from their assigned time with the knowledge that their text would be posted anonymously. Each post thus presents a slice of time in one individual’s experience of the conference as a whole. However, these slices, laid next to one another in a chronological progression chart an affective progression from anxiety towards exhaustion.

Yet, I wonder, as I write this, perhaps before all of the responses have come in, whether this narrative is accurate. Will new posts from airports or homes add new affective resonances unavailable within the confines of the institutional frame of the conference? Will time for reflection change the experiential tenor of the conference? Or, will these archives hold up, perpetuating particular stories, voices, paradigms more forcefully than others? Rather than sticking to old standbys that promise “time will tell,” archives such as “Record of Time” offer the opportunity to interrogate time’s telling, its recording, and the ways in which form might lead as well as follow function. “Record of Time” provides us, in other words, with a dense multitext that, like other texts, can be read multiply. In it, we may look at the conference as through a glass darkly, refracting singular experiences into multiplicities, producing a prismatic paradigm that points towards the Fluid States of the future field.

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