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Towards a temporal commons: Shared time in a more-than-human world

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Speech

Publication date4/05/2021
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventAlfred Deakin Institute thematic research stream : Culture Environment and Science - Deakin University, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Education, Victoria, Australia
Duration: 4/05/20214/05/2021


ConferenceAlfred Deakin Institute thematic research stream


As our planet makes a turbulent transition from the Holocene to what has been termed the Anthropocene, it becomes increasingly clear that there is a mismatch between the social/economic cycles associated with humanity and those of environmental, evolutionary, and geological change. However, the standardised measures of time, such as Coordinated Universal Time, which we use to coordinate everything from daily life to transport, energy production, and global trade, build anthropocentrism into our world view at many levels.

How then might we introduce into daily life ways of thinking time from a more-than-human perspective? This paper considers this question through a work of speculative design developed by the author, conceived as a convergence of fieldwork, artwork, and timepiece. As light from the sun is a biological cue that entrains the circadian rhythms of most life on earth, this timepiece takes the luminosity and colour of the sky as its basis for timekeeping. By being attentive to the diurnal changes in illumination, the timepiece aims to articulate a more-than-human temporal commons, while also indicating the presence of anthropogenic light at night, which can disrupt both human and non-human biologies and behaviours.