IMAG(EN)ING THE EXTREME SPACETIME CONTINUUM AND DURATION: THE CINEMA AS METAUNIVERSE

24 02 2009

By MARTHA BLASSNIGG

This paper is about the discrepancy between the measurement of time and space and our internalised perception of events as duration in, what could be called, a post-Deleuzian re-Bergsonian reading of images as spacetime continuum. It suggests that the cultural products of imag(en)ing some of these extremes make the inherent processes and contradictions apparent, and it discusses imaging techniques of so-called outer space and their spacetime correlations in relation to the extremities of ‘inner space’. The notion of the ‘extreme’ in this paper is ultimately defined not as the far-end or outermost, but rather as the challenging gap between the experience and the description of events and things we perceive, and suggests a model of consciousness in relation to time and light to reconcile these contradictory paradigms.

In so-called outer space, far distance is commonly expressed in time: how long it takes light to travel over a certain distance. The unification of the Eucledian space coordinates with the dimension of time in the term ‘spacetime’ is exemplified through the distance measurement of the ‘speed of light’. At the extreme, we seem to experience the greatest difficulty in reconciling the experience of time and space with the externalised measurements of it.

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