4.3. Linear Time - Non-Linear Time

23 June 2021

Within the practical investigation of these three layers, the practice-led research intends to apply all the layers in different possible orders. 

  • linear time (the evolution of subculture)

Starting always from the first layer and ending with the third layer, each previous layer informs the next layer, and when the third layer runs its course, then the first layer is again considered. This can be done cyclically or not, meaning the third layer can inform the first layer.


  • non-linear time (a subculture) 

In the non-linear time approach, I would like to come back to the philosopher Henri Bergson and consider his philosophy “pure duration”. What Bergson proposes in his philosophy is that time is possible to be counted as successive moments of duration, and due to this, it is relational with numbers and time. Therefore, it appears to one as a measurable magnitude, just like space. First, however, Bergson makes an important distinction which can be understood in the following example. 

That a minute has just elapsed, and I mean by this that a pendulum, beating the seconds, has completed sixty oscillations. If I picture these sixty oscillations to myself all at once by a single mental perception, I exclude by hypothesis the idea of succession. I do not think of sixty strokes which succeed one another, but of sixty points on a fixed line, each one of which symbolises, so to speak, an oscillation of the pendulum. If, on the other hand, I wish to picture these sixty oscillations in succession, but without altering the way they are produced in space, I shall be compelled to think of each oscillation to the exclusion of the recollection of the preceding one, for space has preserved no trace of it; but by doing so I shall condemn myself to remain forever in the present; I shall give up the attempt to think a succession or a duration. Now if, finally, I retain the recollection of the preceding oscillation together with the image of the present oscillation, one of two things will happen. Either I shall set the two images side by side, and we then fall back on our first hypothesis, or I shall perceive one in the other, each permeating the other and organising themselves like the notes of a tune, so as to form what we shall call a continuous or qualitative multiplicity with no resemblance to number. I shall thus get the image of pure duration, but I shall have entirely got rid of the idea of a homogeneous medium or a measurable quantity 

(Pure Duration, n.d). 

In considering Bergson’s example of “pure duration”, I can imagine the three layers of ‘The Frame’ as seconds or notes that make up a chord on the piano where they permeate and live amongst each other where there is no order. The reason why I would like to do this is due to the notion that all the subcultural theories, sociological and philosophical behaviours mentioned before are timeless human attributes. In my practical work, I would like to act as an embodied subculture. Therefore, break away from any conceptualised normative behaviour that is only structural or a hegemonic structured knowledge such as the radical notion of the order of counting or the placement of our organs in our body to consider other possibilities and relations between subjects and objects. 

If we consider ‘The Frame’ then through a subcultural lens, we could consider linear time as a structural, logical and rational approach that aligns with modernist mindsets and possibly structural hegemonic order such as AP. That would mean that the non-linear time approach would be non-structural, illogical, irrational and align with a postmodernist mindset that implements a sensitivity in the quality of the individual and resonates more with subcultures and DI. As stated before, it seems most beneficial for society to balance these two opposing approaches. Therefore, the ‘The Frame’ facilitates the possibility to shift between linear time and non-linear time. There is space to follow one's logic, and there is the possibility to create one's irrationality. 


Practical write up