Architecture of Time


published may 2008
Some thoughts about an architecture of time

The architecture of time might be a specific “Hore”. „Hora“ is the hourly prayer; one is part of it; „Hora“ however also names a Nymph and a lover of Zeus with whom she had a son called Kolax.

Architecture of time is of interest since developments of globalization. All of a sudden spacial appearences as physical bodies show another relationship to the time determined earlier.

The architecture of time is capable of constructing sequences of passed times:
these are the lost durations from a spare place, grabbed and refreshed into a her-and-now-solution-of-presence, viewed as convoluted memory, as contemporary subjects. Architecture of time might conclude in a never ending glance on some horizontal visions towards an ocean.
It also includes the endlessness of the memory, the oblivion translated and projected according different understandings into other spaces.
On a practical base: What do you think about loosing time, and how you will store all your lost time?
It might start a serious – however entertaining – variation of recycling in our real time! An interesting creativity about some unexpected perspectives on human perceptives!

NEO (alias Thomas A. Anderson)
A constructed return of time occurs in some technically advanced states, for example, during Neo‘s Bullet catching scenes in Matrix: The so called Bullet Time! Beside the technical solutions, which, for us, make scenes visable, the presented exercise seems to involve a specific form of concentration, allowing us to believe! And this believe makes us stopping the clock in just that specific moment, when all the bullets are directed towards the body, namely Neo‘s body! The availability of such cinematographic scenes takes the unguiltyiness from us. We no longer can pretend not having seen an object in over speed being „objected“ towards us. Through simulated versions in media, the consciousness of time and space is set into our memory as a carefully designed duration!
In the memory a sequence of time is pulled into a prolongation through diverse capabilities of imagination. The personalization needs the contact.
Mathematically speaking it is still an unresolved task to come up with a specific formula, how the relationship will be between
– the time and speed of that specific moment
– the time of the inside reaction of the body being involved
– the time in our memory
– the time between the event and its momemts of retelling.
The latter makes us talking about it in specific moods, it makes us learning from virtual visuals.
Most-likely it could happen that specific formulas might be found,
where the length and the speed of such an event towards the distance of the retelling memory could be precisely counted. It might also show a verifiable truth of the physics involved in the event. A physics actually which might bring us some refreshing results in order to specify modelled examples.


As in sciences and elsewhere we connect most of our trust and believes to the empirical proves done with models, the models of time should also include the training of reality in specific scenarios. The models provide us with the resources of spaces needed. The question however is, where will be the ever changing boarder between physical experience and nonphysical ones? This will deliver a refreshing positioning of the event as object if time in the 21st Century.
The evidence for any such events is mixed with the experience of time as such, presenting a personal vision compared with different aspects of general visions.

As a result of a technically more complex social frame works, more personalized versions of time frames might be surveilled and included into society.


The organization of time,as we live it with a natural attitude, wasn‘t always common. Only since around 1884, an International Meridian Conference was held in order to choose the Greenwich Observatory as Greenwich Mean Time, and the world was devided in twenty-four time zones, each one for one hour and covering a segment of 15 degrees longitude. The agreement organized and designed our global architecure of time! It was mainly the development of the steam engine, which made such an organization necessary. When locomotives crossed the European continent, a precise and equal time as a constant mathematical unit started to be needed. Before this nobody needed to take notice, when every city, every place defined the local time according to the position of the sun ( solar time). There was once a time for each city in Europe . In Geneva Switzerland for example, there was a tower with three clocks. Each of them showed a different time: One with the time of the City of Bern, which is only about 150 km away and showed a time difference of seven minutes, one of Geneva and the other one of Paris showing a difference of 20 Minutes! (Paris actually only accepted the Middle European Time during the German occupation in 1940.) With the acceptance of the Greenwich time and the 24 segments, especially with the goal to coordinate as many countries with the same time, some other facts had to accepted, so for instance in Western Spain: the sun is on its highest point only after 2.30 p.m.! Meanwhile China should deal with at least five different time zones, but it doesn‘t seem to care to make any adjustments to the sun, so the sun is on its peak in Western regions around 3 p.m. and in the East of Peking already around 11 a.m.!

These are the levels of global coordination of time we function nowadays.
We speak of the UTC (Universal Time Coordinated) in order to make trading more unified and understandable . BUT what does that mean, when we include a perceptional time into our constructions of an architectural time?

In „Architectures of Time“: Towards a Theory of the Event in Modernist Culture S. Kwinter offers a critical view to the modern history of time and to the interplay between the physical sciences and the arts. Among others he points out, how the demise of the classical notion of space as a fixed background against which things occur, led to field theory and a physics of the „event“.
Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity was first published in 1905 as „On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies“. This changed the consciousness about the relationship f space and time.

*Quote: from 1913: Pittura Scultura Futurist „Reality is not to be found in the object, but in the transfiguration of the object as it becomes identified with the subject.“ This is a typical enough symbolist proposition.

The cosmology of time in general, the philosophical consideration and the discussion of space in relation to time lead into a work of research to the „durée“, sequences of memories, puzzles of time and lengths of periods, however as entities, which one cannot observe just as fractals and make judgments about it. By mentioning this we not only enjoy imagining the daily implication of the Bergsonian durée but also rethink some terminologies which until today give our time the structure for the contemporary social coordination.

The architecture of time might implement a critical observation of globalization, which leaves a chaotic local praxis without evaluations needed. Therefore a networked architecture of time shall be proposed. It might contain a coordination of accuracy, of present attendancies and prolongations in „no-real-time-surveillance“. An architecture of time however associates the use for a specific view onto the world as visions and as something in relation to spaces, replicas of spaces, memories of spaces and projections of spaces.

The architecture of time, which – within this glossary – is thought as the preoccupation with a constructed return of time, consist out of the time as a reproduction of the duration, a passed real time. Time architecture in this sense might evoke another approach which is not so much orientated by the space as fractured visualization of the time, In the spaces I can observe some traces of the time passed; but I never observe a timeline, the expansion of the time! I only observe my imagination and association of the time passed, And that I might observe as a never ending rubber band ( as Henri Bergson used the example). This will give us another view towards the design of the floating time meanwhile the time as a visual fragment is always the combination of a past issue, an issue you never will be able to observe, but you are able to copy it.

What is the interest I have in a time as an expanding structure? – The floating time implements a never ending variety of the picturesque extensions in space which gives us an appearance of an architectural organization. But it still doesn‘t characterize the „Architecture of Time“, does it? Even when it lets us imagine immense dimensions of floating objects through time, the Architecture of Time needs to map the different characterics of events in consideration to its duration. The spacial location will then be added as to determine any transmission from real time into playback and vice versa.

When the sand blows over some ruins or the snow hides the igloo time shapes the view by the change of the given structures, once presented to our view in a specific time. The temporary architecture phases out, it becomes something else, including the deterioration of the traces, which were left by the passed time.
Through the biological clock a narrative character is implemented in our bodies.The deteriorated traces will be transferred by narrative characters into eternal architectural structures.
The conclusion will be the sequences of time as memory. They will form a future architecture which retreats sections towards a materialization already perceived, where the imagination of the subjects belongs to the floating systems. Floating systems of time, alltogether which run rubber bandages in parallels, but also accross of then or interwoven! Each bandage has its own dimension and characteriscs carefully designed. It also has its inner life like a pipeline.

Zeno of Elea‘s allegorically pretended (around 500 BC), that in a race between Achilles and a turtle, when given a the turtlle only the smallest head start, Achilles will never be able to catch up. As in that moment, when Achilles reaches a certain point A, where the turtle passed by just a little before, it advanced already to point B. And when Achilles reaches this point, the turtle just left this point and advanced to point C, and so on and so on. According to this assumption the head start can get smaller but never be caught up.

However mathematically not proven this analogy serves us as a „pacifier“ for our troubled imaginations of time and space. Henri Bergson denies the fragmentation of sequences of time; therefore Zeno‘s fantastic story of the race becomes subject of personal entertainment. The race between the turtle and Achilles rather shows the ironic critic about a prententious Half-God-Hero running for a winning position which won‘t matter in the first place, in case the turtle‘s inner world view don‘t depend on such context of advancement and relational positions. Practically speaking the turtle fails. Neo fails in Matrix, but both win through their definition of the position where they are in time. Eventually, linguistically, the turtle might be able to convince everybody. It gives a great deal of self esteem. It shows us some first steps of personal subjective views about the issues of time! Neo convinces his companion about his inner power being built up in order to stop the bullets in the air. The turtle and Neo are on time, in their own time.

I guess it most likely is postulated to find the moments of the turtle’s move with in our rushed lives. The moments of these singular architectural constructions in order to allow any synchronized social effects.The given capacity through technology might provide us with prolongations which allow us looking at sequences from other time crossings or other perspectives.

The architecture of time means a dramaturgy of single sequences being reflected, added, adjusted and multiplied with the same strings to a continuity which never will give any advise of being used in a single time!

In a video projection showing hundreds of black and white fotos, one after the other, I observe one single moment of a child throwing happily a ball in the air meanwhile members of the family are watching and standing around. This single moment is exptended to our advantage as viewer, so we can observe it from tens of different angles, describing everything of the surrounding cold architecture of a chinese suburban housing project. This Art Project by David Claerbout, grabbed moments in still photography, might explain us the connection between media use and human body through media and its time of prolongation. It is not a feeling of slow motion we experience watching it, it is the feeling of experience an eternity in order to investigate one tiny moment!

Writing about a constructed turn of time involves the moment, which I have before it turns into memory. Between that moment of passing and the one watching me walking in my memory from behind, there won‘t be any time. We know, that the observing and acting at the same time can be slightly absurd. A spcific mind training can be worth while getting as close as possible in our daily memorizing repeptions.The memory of moments involves us into some kind of other livelyhood , wich is reproduced by our expressions and language

Considering the aspects of Architecture as subject of mainly of space and its organization, which will be able to be perceived through our eyes, it might be clear that several characteristics for time might be defined as well.

Each specific time for instance becomes a shape and when different times cross each other it might give some interactions with specific moods – and medias -. However for the architectural structures we certainly should look into some other responsibilities, shifting the issues towards other organizational items. For example: A turn of time, for a reproduction of sequences of time,

Where does the architectural structure of time resemble a water pond with its infinite possibilities of moving elements, different levels and tempered molecules? Why are suddenly certain elements in a specific location meanwhile others remain in one spot? Why is it, that in some parts of the pond the water has a temperature of 30 degrees and in others only 4? Even with different temperature all water molecules rely on eachother – during a specific time – moving towards a specific location – with a specifc speed. These relations show us best how the different times are moving and playing.

As a spacial construction it might even be observed as an issue of naming the moments. Each of them gives us a view and a tag. Through these tags it will be possible to understand fragments of time as inactive and others as active. Some will be understandable through direct media others only by transferred ones. These methods of organization of time might allow me to shape the observation of the times in sections without interrupting the flow and without just referring to static pictures.

What do we say and see, when we talk
about the „time based media“?

All these issues became more interesting as we see us confronted with time based media, so called media which are no longer just a fraction of a time or a sequence. They rather play us some continuing sections form the passed in the purpose of constructing its own context within limitations
These time based media will experience themselves again within the pool of time. They will be combined with real time and with other sections of time. This attracts us showing layers of different periods being explained and described through the time base media project.


The time is seen as a window

The time is seen as a block

the time is seen as a globe

the time is seen as a ball

the time is seen as a bullet

The architecture of time contains the observation of time accumulation


At the beginning of the 20th century, so to speak, at the time when Marcel Proust was working on his oeuvre “A la recherche du temps perdu”,
popular sciences and the entertainment technology weren’t able to grab people into a society of entertainment and make them travelling through time in multiplex cinemas, flying in youtube video versions through private kitchens and their gadgets, watching into face books in mypsaces etc., as well as discussing on a daily base time warping or time shrinking or time as slow motion.
The complexity of dealing with time is expanded by the diverse models of time surrounding our daily individual paths. In the mass of the fragmented time models existing nowadays one might find very specific and carefully selected ones. Therefore it won‘t be needed to talk about a run behind the same clock.

Don’t we remember Buster Keaton‘s accidentally hanging on the clock tower? What could that be else than a visual sketch for the desire of grabbing a piece of time’s architecture? Obviously some people unfold still the impression of time as something always running in front of us, neither being connected to us or to the space not being in the space. The imagination and the visualization of loosing THE time characterizes most of our moral pictures we perceive through the past centuries. It is the individual guilt – or just „I should“ – towards the society which is expressed in running behind the clock! Movies, historical important ones as well as just common scenes, are filled with interpretations of the ever unfulfilled desire grabbing time and through that expressing a visual workout about life as an item threated by hectic. There seems not to be found any other ways slowing down the motions but by adjusting them to the own inner clock.
Therefore I might even suggest to reunite an „interior archtecture of time“ with the „exterior“ one.
Even an urban landscaping might find some inspiring development.
The urban landscape has not much of a sense for more than just being in time, time schedules of different kinds of “moving objects”. And for registering correctly these objects on different levels of time and spaces the expansions of the movements produce a liquid shape .Within these designs of time several concepts of moving objects can be surveilled at once. The urban shape can be surveilled as a whole but it will be the single, individual ones who give the character of the period.
The architecture of time is a matter of counting and shaping things in different levels. It is a plan, where everything refers to each other but might not be connected. The smaller the tolerances get, the bigger the influences of mistakes to the hole.
But ! …

What happens with time when it will be constituted for an other creation into our reachable areas? How will the architecture look like to somebody from another planet? Do the global time periods look the same to him?
In the Antarktis it didn‘t make sense having all 24 global time periods in one spot.
The extraterrestrial might experience the time on earth like a virtual model.

The experience will be constructed upon experiences experienced a time ago, so it will be the time who will be shaped into the future

Characters within specific contexts produce a time block on a holo deck; like the one we are familiar with from Enterprise in StarTrek . Eventually an architecture of time can overgrow the time of an event but finding the approach of some structures beyond deterioration and necessary oblivion in order to experience it? Everybody will be able to join without knowing any differences into the holo deck! I mean: What most-likely we would experience in such a time traveling situation: we will loose the memory of some broader perspectives and we won’t get any closer to an overall view. The fantastic and the frightening chance of the time traveller is the “white out“ of any consciousness and the total oblivion in just that particular moment when he will enter into a preprogrammed section or time block. (Going on now beyond this subject, means describing details which are less an architectural problem than rather a matter of technical engineering ). Time travelling is like experiencing a moment in eternity – what ever that is -,but only in one area and one sequence.

Everybody might have a possibility to turn time towards the outside from a private designed holo deck for one specific section of time! He even might design the period of the time he chooses and he might not be disconnected to any other person just editing for her/himself another block of time. So we go from one step to the next, where prolongation might not even matter.

How can the time traveller reach an unknown spot in time, letting the spot just stand still without being affected? How did it look for everybody else in the subway watching Neo catching the bullets shot towards him.? What were these little moments of awareness? Or were they simply in another time zone? Did they see how he caught them? These questions are beyond just stopping the video or DVD and watching the same scenes over and over! This might be still a most prickling part of the awareness. The slow motion gets more expanded. For any observer of such scenes like Neo‘s it would cost a big effort to watch and follow the sequences as the personal consternation is missing! That is it, where an architecture of time might serve for structuring moments of concsiousness in public: Stepping into a sudden consternation, into other levels, induces oblivion and memory for an isolating section of time section of time!
No matter what happens and how much the observer is aware of, the transportation of a consternation is directed within the flow of time, which eventually will expand a duration of the specific sequence. It is the art in architectural constructions of time to have several speeds in one moment!

The memory in slow motion is to be seen as something not yet clearly experienced. And the prolongation of the time, physically in ones memory, is subject of an immense influence towards any other interpretations of moments. The personal psychology gives perspectives to others through narrative elements. These elements tend to expand and they will have an effect on structures of real time! It influences the selections, what in future will be left out and what will be taken in consideration! Being in slow motion at the same time as in a overspeed might sound contradictory! It is the talk which exists about specific events, it is the talk about certain things, which then becomes the chance to get expanded and put in our memory through extensive descriptions as if it would have lasted twice as long.
It is also in our memory, and our capacity of memorizing vividly, how the events could have been and how everything gets an impression of incredible slow motions, which then expands towards an new time experience and architecture. Finally we do see how these experiences shape the richness of any cultural transmission as we deal with a time expanded through memory or oblivion. As we are generally distrustful towards media we are only at the very beginning…

In the essay about the Russian writer Nikolai Lesskow Walter Benjamin talks extensively about the great capacity of a storyteller. The storyteller is talking through his own „meat and flesh“! His body is still part of the event, and this is different from an impersonally transmitted novel! The story is still part of his experience, — the physical and emotional expressions shape the story at the same time as the words do. And it is not so much a distant, reserved language.
Compared with wikipedia, which is a joyful collection of collectively shared knowledge – btw also feeding this article – the storyteller transmits actively the sense of the time the subject is dealing in! The time is not frozen but reactivated through his personality.

Listening to a story of another time means winning time indirectly.

How we experience „catching up time“, „winning time“ and how we handle these things? – This means the opposit of loosing time or running behind it. Catching time is a winning position for „mission accomplished“. Catching up time leaves us with the empty space behind and belongs to the ritual of catching up again like Achilles running behind the turtle, all life long …
As time is floating we might not be able to save time. But we can just shape our own „time blocks“! -The time blocks give/say us something about the handling of personal approaches in culture towards some glances out in vision which was predicted excitingly in some immaterial spaces!
The shaping of time blocks can be just as much as an intrinsic ritual!

Descriptions of a tiny moment which then are transferred into other medias allow us perceiving another description out of the same one! Therefore an inconsiderate speed of a time section reproduced in relation to our bodily conditions will give the impression of another quantity of full concentration.
The awareness and concentration is related to the length of the time section. The longer it is the more concentrated. That is the moment in slow motion.
That is the perception which gets into our permission to receive and exchange it into another real world.

Planning of time is different than planning of time in space as one believed earlier, where it was rather time planning so that one can squeeze in more. Architecture of time actually talks about spacial relationships, which will be influenced by planning of events.

It happen that people will rather talk about different time slots / spots /angles / windows / brakes they conquer/found/discovered/occurred/shaped/created/planned. The equivalent to the language of“shaping time“ in relationship would be the language of „floating space“.

There is the construction of no return. There is no return? There is the disposable architecture. As to speak: every architecture consists out of a specific longitude of appearance, charisma and ontology. Time is contextually defined as limit towards a deterioration, when the crumbling starts. However the architecture of time starts beyond these limits and floats the spaces in relationship of the modelled time. It means the time is the folded construction expanding in space, or shrinking and warping, also.

There is a timely architecture! No doubt! And there is an architecture shaped in time. The pretentiousness lays in the game and the actors who play .
I mean the definition, which obviously created the imagination about the architecture of time. It created it into a verbal sense and a language which can be read and will become a shape. Through that the imagination of time is justified by the media which enriches and splits the lifes and the way of life around us.

I don‘t pretend that we live in a period where time is used in a functional way, however everything we do and explore through media promises us a better functionality. Overwhelmingly fantastic, however the more differentiated the tools get the more they need the time to be understood prior to handle them – programs are needed to learn them. They have a time consuming character without any chances to evaluate periods correctly before all these activities: Was it worth while/needed/good? Did I make a step ahead or am I sitting here like learning to drive a new care with the only difference, that each time the steering wheel is replaced with a new technology to steer? Unravelling all these goodies I was expecting certain steps with the one and only intention: Learning about how to safe time by spending less and not more.

It seems that we enter a historical paradox, which is like: getting back to the unknown innocence. This is never easy, if not impossible . And once unrevealed the truth about the time so there is no way to depend on any other returns. The questions is: Which personal view do we take ? Can we ask: Are we getting closer to the turtle now – as Achilles ? or: Are we keeping our distance – as turtle?

One reason for that problem might also lay in ones own physical conditions . This dependency is stronger than expected.
Especially considering the rhythms and the speed. Movements change through our life time. We contemplate and compensate incapaciteis with mind work.
Therefore I consider, the counting with the ever longer process learning software in order to get further might become a work ethical necessity which is inscribed into the society and its members. In order to achieve a social and a global standard of learning! The structure which will be put over different cultures -> dependent in issues of wasting time -> mentioning the time one has before doing something and whether you really need the time as product. The prediction what is needed becomes a far more complex issue .

How can the shape of time be interpreted into a global market? That is the question of …The more immaterialistic the project and product becomes the more unpredictable the flow of time gets .
Technologically (?) catching up on time will be subject to another debate!
relatively speaking within time, catching up time is the evaluation of one’s own time as judged and proclaimed. Catching up time is suspect to another clock, not dependent on architectural views than rather social relations. It is related to do some work in a specific time, and catching up realities to nothing else but this time which is already assumed for a specific activity and then not used up although with a finalized product.

Catching up time means: being estimated as behind in activity however having found a spare time and filled it with this specific activities

Isn’t this rather an architecture of time when different issues will be running at the same time and there is almost now personal chance to see them in the same time!? Therefore it says: architecture of time comes handy, and makes specific levels accessible in there own speed.
It is as if you look at several diagnosis monitors and every of them shows a different pace of rhythm of another organ monitored, or even you are in a surveillance room and monitors will be switched on and off considering the pace you feel observing them. But actually in the second case you step immediately in a voyeuristic atmosphere and I guess this is not really considered much of a different time. .. Zapping …Wait! …Of course it is! It always will be, as the observation goes beyond and the others, in case they could interact, different templates of watching and observing get mixed in the same time!. Overlapping the sequences gives a mixture in a concert. No doubt.

The search for the run behind time and sparing valuable time leads to the thought of the consevartion of time.

What happiness will be by conserving time?
Electrical energy is hard to be collected and stock up for another time to use – so is the time. „Time is up“ means the event is close. What was Gilgamesh asking for eternity instead if death? He asks for stocking up his time for eternity or … a little bit longer.Social time is defined by social structures as well as the conditions of the surrounding. The environment defines the periods of biological growths and the time for the mind,.

The klima plays a big part in all things of the sharing of the time. Only the temperature lets us perceive a different perspective and outlook.
There is no doubt, that in other klima the time, even the time for story telling has another influence, and there we more often experience an expansion of time and a different outlook which gives an other judgment, when we see people from other areas dealing with a different aspect of the time they just spend by talking, by telling stories and influencing the surroundings more than expected. Media and communication technology with its characterics of overlapping different time zones will interfere more and more into such local architectures of time.

It is time for a story and the story takes me away from the time. I am in.