In the last decades of the twentieth (XX) century, the news came in that the future was over, and that we now lived in the age of the fractalization of time. Ever since, the world has been presented with recreations of the past produced for various aesthetic/political purposes. At the same time, our current era of destabilization constantly and automatically recalibrates itself to an all-encompassing momentariness: here, now, and everywhere! By chasing the contemporary, trying to “be with time” in a globalized space, we are perpetually captured by the logic of the supernow, which is induced by the sensory overload of the surrounding info-sphere. We are determinedly demented and oblivious. Our memories are simulated through the mediation of different pasts spectacularly presented in reality-show like digests on dedicated History Channels™. Everything, including the World Wars, now runs again, only this time in color.
Since the abolition of the universal promise of progress towards a “better future,” we are under the illusion that we live in the era of chrono-democracy, where all modalities of time are reachable and easily accessible, ready to be performed, experienced, consumed, and recreated in different micro-environments capable of constantly accommodating different individual choices.
Does history still bear the potential to produce, once again, a collective consciousness that could lead to a new totality of a better now? This lecture deals with contested images of the past-futures and the future-pasts, opening the discussion towards the question of how history can become (re)actualized as a transformative experience, and how it could break with the infinite perpetuation of the shape-shifting supernow.