“Time. Time. What is time? Swiss manufacture it. French hoard it. Italians squander it. Americans say it is money. Hindus say it does not exist. Do you know what I say? I say time is a crook.”

O’Hara (Peter Lorre) in ‘Beat the Devil’


One century ago Filippo Marinetti published his controversial ‘Futurist Manifesto’, in which he described the enthusiasm brought about by the arrival of modern industrial rhythms, driven by a total belief in speed and progress. In his recent ‘upgrade’ of the Manifest, media philosopher Franco Berardi rejects unilateral interpretations of modern speed culture, making a plea for more reflection and autonomy. “The omnipresent and eternal speed”, he writes, “is already behind us, in the Internet, so we can find our own singular rhythm”.

Our society is still driven by an insatiable hunger for speed, but during the past decades, the spread of globalisation and the revolution of information and communication technologies have unmistakably led to a new temporal dynamics, emphasizing the increasing importance of connectivity and flexibility. The tyranny of clock time has given way to a complex web of diverging rhythms, cycles and tempos, which stimulate the temporal imagination as never before.

Under the title “Accelerated Living”, the IMPAKT Festival 2009 focuses on changing notions of time and speed today. During a period of five days, a number of artists, filmmakers, musicians and thinkers will share their views on the construction and intensification of time, and its influence on our perception of reality, and by extension thereof, of ourselves. The resulting search for a new engagement with time will be explored in a range of screenings, lectures, performances and an exhibition.


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