Time, Ethics, Intelligence

Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003 My grandmother used to leave me cautionary notes when she was still alive. Two that I saved were about time: Always Remember: One step at the time. Time: there is little enough of it, and none to waste. Ethics is about how to act towards other beings and things. Intelligence is what hopefully governs those actions. Time is what it all takes place in. My grandmother’s advice was about these things. I’d like to extend it to suggest that there is a possible relationship between a very special breed of time- complex time- and an evolutionary ethics. I’ll try to establish what I mean by complex temporal structures, ethics, and all this in relationship to architecture, cinema, and everyday life. At its heart, this is a manifesto. I've been driven to search for evidence and the effects of what I am terming 'timefolds', complex time forms, chronomorphologies, and all my diciplinary peregrinations have orbited somehow around this attractor. My intuition has been that one could find very definable techniques that would produce in bodies a greater propensity for awareness: since this text/manifesto is a platform I am creating for future work- my own as well as others', I will risk it and even say- a greater propensity for kindness and growth individually and as a culture.
Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

This position has been exhaustively rehearsed by many writers, artists, filmmakers, and architects- the most influential on my thinking including Almodovar,Tarkovsky, Marker, Wong Kar Wai, Tschumi, Deleuze, Serres, and Bakhtin. I hope to show examples that demonstrate the presence of folded time and the value of such a time: a temporal site where a readiness for perceptual evolution has been created.
Richard Baily image

Architecture is a cultural manifestation that physically externalizes certain aspects of such a memory structure, while still depending on virtual aspects of the memory to activate [ to program, if you will] the form itself. More recently, historically speaking, externalizations and crystallizations of language , cinema, broadcast media and the internet have allowed much faster regimes to operate. I will argue that in fact there are unique chronomorphologies that exist within each of these substrates- or more accurately, which are produced by these systems. Indeed, these chronomorphologies can only be understood as systems of awareness and intelligence. Awareness in that they respond to outside stimuli; intelligent, in that they become aware of their response, and self regulate. Implicit in the ideas of thinkers like Deleuze is the concept that linked to such a range of chronomorpologies are a range of ethics as well as simply forms. This emergent ethics- this ethology- can be measured according to the kinds of nuanced awareness that are encouraged when each system or form encounters another. Proust: The Soul There are some passages from the opening pages of Proust's In Search of Lost Time which recently stunned me. I could not help thinking of Raul Ruiz' amazing film Time Regained, which cinematically instrumentalizes some of the collapses of time that Proust experienced and recorded in his novel.

Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

'When a man is asleep, he has in a circle round him the chain of the hours, the sequence of the years, the order of the heavenly bodies. Instinctively he consults them when he awakes, and in an instant reads off his own position on the earth's surface and the time that has elapsed during his slumbers; but this ordered procession is apt to grow confused, and to break its ranks...Perhaps the immobility of the things that surround us is forced upon them by our conviction that they are themselves and not anything else, by the immobility of our conception of them. For it always happened that when I awoke like this, and my mind struggled in an unsuccessful attempt to discover where I was, everything revolved around me through the darkness: things, places, years. My body, still too heavy with sleep to move, would endeavor to construe from the pattern of its tiredness the position of its various limbs, in order to deduce therefrom the direction of the wall, the location of the furniture, to piece together and give a name to the house in which it lay...Then the memory of a new position would spring up, and the wall would slide away in another direction...’

I have edited much of the minute detail out of this passage to get at the minimal core, which I find moving for two reasons. The first being its accuracy in depicting the fluidity of perception, identity and memory; the second being Proust’s vision that somehow, many layerings of time could superimpose with each other in an ineffable yet completely real coexistence. What could be the mechanism for this coexistence? what would be the consequences of our ascending into it, or its descent into us, such that more and more memories live within us? How could we sort these memories and give them meaning? What could we do if we had access to a range that we normally do not? Can we accept the thesis that living bodies, or the substance of the earth, the sea, the sky, the sun- are actually diverse bundles of time? And then, what can we do with that idea? Proust is showing us from the anthropocentric point of view that there are indeed certain overlaps of time which take place... and that there are ways of constructing a section through those overlaps which would be valuable. Thus, the idea is not just choosing the most valuable bundles of time and memory to preserve: but the construction of the most vital method or procedure for this storage and analysis.
Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

Built into the process for Proust is a gentle oscillation between the erasure of identity within a powerful subjective memory, and a more awake state in which one senses that one is remembering. The awareness of awareness. It is a valuation of the act of remembering as much as the individual memory itself. This mechanism might be one byproduct of the kind of complex time that Proust provides us as evidence.

Raul Ruiz, Time Regained

Apropos of this, a passage of great interest in Deleuze’s Cinema One is the brief subchapter, 'towards a gaseous perception'. Delueze describes three categories of perception- static, liquid and gaseous. He classifies the gaseous as an evolutionary end state produced by certain filmic techniques:
‘What montage does, according to Vertov, is to carry perception into things, to put perception into matter, so that any point whatsoever in space itself perceives all the points on which it acts, or which act on it, however far these actions and reactions extend.'

This clearly implies that an alternative subject could emerge from montage. He goes on to articulate certain kinds of montage which will align themselves more readily with the production of such an alternative subject; and concludes by ascribing an ethical program to the gaseous perception:
'... if the cinema goes beyond perception, it is in the sense that it reaches to the genetic element of all possible perception, that is, the point which changes, and which makes perception change, the differential of perception itself......This is the programme of the third state of the image, the gaseous image, beyond the solid and the liquid: to reach 'another' perception, which is also the genetic element of all perception...a determination which is no longer formal or material, but genetic and differential. We have moved from a real to a genetic definition of perception.’

Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

This range of cinematic devices has parallels in everyday life, and in lived space. If we accept that spatial and programmatic devices produces definable kinds of perception, and that these modes of perception work with the computation and intelligence, then it might well be possible that certain kinds of time align themselves more with freedom than others.
Koudelka photographs

Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

Paul Ryan Relational Circuit concept image

TIME’S Topology When I speak of chronomorphologies, I'm discussing a wide range of temporal categories and substrates: the different registers in which time is inscribed; externalized time or internalized time; Subjective time: human time, perception tied to emotion, and to action; Macroscopic and Microscopic time; General time or local time; measured time, Chronos, and unmeasured time, Aion [Derrida's ‘L’avenir,’ Negri's 'to-come'] Not only are there manifold registers within which time is inscribed- but this inscription takes on a form. It would be better to try to evaluate that form from a topological point of view. Stephen Barr in his 1964 book Experiments in Topology said that
‘topology is curiously hard to define... (it) started as a kind of geometry but it has reached into many other mathematical fields." "In one sense it is the study of continuity: beginning with the continuity of space, or shapes, it generalizes and then by analogy leads into other kinds of continuity- and space as we usually understand it is left far behind.... A topologist is interested in those properties of a thing that while they are in a sense geometrical are the most permanent- the ones that will survive distortion and stretching.’

Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

Sagrada Familia, Doug Diaz photograph

As defined by Barr [op. cit.], topology is a science and philosophy useful to identify the boundaries and continuities in the world. To mark where, for example, bodies end and other bodies begin. In this sense, the complex forms produced by topological investigation are most useful when understood as abstract systems that find a manifestation at many scales in the material world. They are DIAGRAMS that precede any technological solutions, and exist as immanent relationships that constantly seek 'form' to realize the pure potential they attempt to embody. There is a neoplatonic component to the topological relationships : by assigning material behaviors, proclivities and tendencies to the 'diagram,' the investigation progresses according to the inconsistencies that matter itself introduces into the equation. Not a compromised and corrupt matter, as some strains of Gnostic thought would see the 'form' bound by; but a transcendent matter, the very delays of which impart a new vitalism to each instance of the 'diagram'. These delays are similar in property to what M. Serres calls bundles of time, time materialized, congealed, imbricated in matter... I quote at length from Serres’ The Origin of Language: Biology, Information Theory, & Thermodynamics:
‘..the organism is a barrier of braided links that leaks like a wicker basket but can still function as a dam. Better yet, it is the quasistable turbulence that a flow produces, the eddy closed upon itself for an instant, which finds its balance in the middle of the current and appears to move upstream, but is in fact undone by the flow and re-formed elsewhere. And experience shows that there is no flux without eddy, no laminar flow which does not become turbulent.(5) Now, and here is the crux of the matter, all times converge in this temporary knot: the drift of entropy or the irreversible thermal flow, wear and aging, the exhaustion of initial redundancy, time which turns back on feedback rings or the quasi-stability of
Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

eddies, the conservative invariance of genetic nuclei, the permanence of a form, the erratic blinking of aleatory mutations, the implacable filtering out of all non-viable elements, the local flow upsteam toward negentropic islands-refuse, recycling, memory, increase in complexities. The living organism, ontogenesis and phylogenesis combined, is of all times. This does not at all mean that it is eternal, but rather that it is an original complex, woven out of all the different times that our intellect subjects to analysis or that our habits distinguish or that our spatial environment tolerates. ...All the temporal vectors possessing a directional arrow are here, in this place, arranged in the shape of a star. What is an organism? A sheaf of times. What is a living system? A bouquet of times. It is indeed surprising that this solution has not been reached more quickly. Perhaps it seemed difficult to intuit a multitemporality. We willingly accept, however, the fact that the things around us do not all share the same temporality: negentropic islands on or in the entropic sea, or distinct universes as Boltzmann described them, pockets of local orders in rising entropy, crystal depositories sunk in ashes-none of these things disturbs us. In a completely new sense, the organism is synchronous for meanings and directions, for the continuous and discontinuous, for the local and the global; it combines memory, invariance, plan, message, loss, redundancy, and so forth. ... The organism is fixed on top of a temporal converter -no, it is a converter of time. This is perhaps why it is able to learn about systems differentiated by their individual time..’

Here perhaps we find one of the key themes to extract from Serres. An organism can function as a leaky dam for time- in fact for multiple times, each directed along differing channels of flow. Time flows through words, through space and matter, through thought. Thus our task would be to understand how the dam functions to trap certain flows of time- which could materialize in behaviors, or images in the world, or space- and to then through manipulation of these leaky dams, change the flow- create a clinamen- alter the homeorrheses in the system. the chreods. The stabilities.
'Everything transpires as if the central problem of information theory was resolved, automatically, by living organisms. They can be described as apparatuses which produce language from noise and information.... If the integration levels function correctly as partial rectifiers and transform the noise of disorder into potential organization, then they have reversed the arrow of time. They are rectifiers of time. Entropic irreversibility also changes direction and sign; negentropy goes back upstream. We have discovered the place, the operation, and the theorem where and with which the knots of the bouquet are tied. It is here and in this manner that time flows back and can change direction. Due to the numerous reversals of the temporal vector, the fluctuating homeorrhesis acquires a fleeting stability. For a moment the temporal sheaf makes a full circle. It forms a turbulence where opposing times converge. Organization per se, as system and homeorrhesis, functions precisely as a converter of time. We now know how to describe this converter, as well as its levels and meanderings, from whence come anamnesis, memory, and everything imaginable. ‘

COMPUTATION Following this discussion of time, computation can be redefined as the processing of information and energy, such that those flows can be chained to external systems, some of which are reversible, others irreversible. It is the processing of signal and message. Computation is what happens when you feed energy or information into a system, and then extract a result. Meaning emerges when that result is plugged into another computational chain.

Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

Andromeda Strain Stills

One of the implications for us here is that increased complexity within organisms or complex social and material systems adds information back into the overall world system. In the mixing of simple time structures with more complex time structures, information is added. A variety of people have argued that the living system is uniquely suited to reverse the effects of entropy and add information back into the loop.

NIN concert footage

To quote Piero Scaruffi:
‘Entropy is a measure of disorder and it can only increase, according to the second law of Thermodynamics. Information moves in the opposite direction. Most things in this universe, if left alone, simply decay and disintegrate. Biological systems, instead, appear from nowhere, then organize themselves, then even growTime, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

This leads to the "two arrows of time": the behavior of physical systems pointing towards entropy increase and therefore disorder increases, and the behavior of biological systems pointing the other way by building increasingly complex structures of order. The Austrian physicist Erwin Schroedinger, one of the founders of Quantum Mechanics, first proposed the idea that biological organization is created and maintained at the expense of thermodynamic order. Life displays two fundamental processes: creating order from order (the progeny has the same order as the parent) and creating order from disorder (as every living system does at every metabolic step, eating and growing). Living systems seem to defy the second law of Thermodynamics. In reality, they live in a world of energy flux that does not conform to the closed-world assumptions of Thermodynamics. An organism stays alive in its highly organized state by absorbing energy from the environment and processing it to produce a lower entropy state within itself. "Living organisms feed upon negative entropy": they attract "negative entropy" in order to compensate for the entropy increase they create by living. Life is "negentropic". The existence of a living organism depends on increasing the entropy of the rest of the universe. In 1974 the biologist (and Nobel prize winner) Albert Szent-Gyorgyi proposed to replace "negentropy" by the positive term "syntropy", to represent the "innate drive in living matter to perfect itself".’

I would argue that more contemporary views of non living matter can find the equivalent complexity and negentropic events that previous thinkers have ascribed to living systems. In our current rapidly evolving technological framework, it is obvious why computation is an avenue for this idea of negative entropy: PCs, new ways of working, communicating: wireless and internet networks, the crowd and power relationships that cities historically established and modulated now reinvigorated by a new moblity and a new intelligence. Contemporary research and theory surrounding genetics and quantum physics indicates more and more that life has already been a complex computational engine for millions of years- for example, cutting edge theory suggests that our own perception, memory and cognition reside not only in the neural pathways and firings, but in the quantum field effects taking place within individual neurons and between neurons. In fact, this thinking suggests that what we call life is actually an emergent tendency of inert matter: chemical interactions, electromagnetic fields, atomic bonds. Architecture and urbanism could be seen as a low resolution version of this complex system structure. I would argue that they are complex enough to play a part in the negentropic process- the syntropic process- and are growing ever more capable and intelligent.
Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

INTELLIGENCE I use the term intelligence here in a more machinic sense, as the processing of information and energy, and not anthropomorphic intelligence. Consider the intelligence demonstrated by a gene pool during its survival over generations, or the intelligence of a cultural structure like rock and roll. intelligence is useful as a concept only when connected to what a body, what a subject, what a population can do, and how aware that body is of its actions. ETHICS

BODIES in action images

As has been rehearsed by Deleuze in his writing on Spinoza, trying to understand what any body can do gives us a starting point for how it can affect other bodies, and be affected itself. This concept of intelligence is also a good definition of an ethical system based on emergent properties, rethinking the entire concept of ethics as an in progress and evolutionary system. If we do that, and then ground this dynamic ethic as best we can in notions of individual and group well being, we might be able to slowly move toward a new definition of freedom, one which would be based on choice, power to act, and intelligence. This is why I group Intelligence, ethics and power together. intelligence is the modulation, the self recognition of one's power in the world: and ethics is the regulation of one's power to affect or be affected. We seek forms which allow preexisting 'clusters' of social structure to migrate, for example, into a new site, and remain coherent [topology is useful here again]. Or, contrariwise, to
Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

discover what extremes of boundary change would establish a definitive rupture in the economic or political relationship that a particular architecture or urbanism is evidence of. The collapse of boundaries, their transgression through commutation, implies a TRANSLATION of information, and possibly loss or increase of information. Topology is concerned with how stable a system can be as it undergoes transformations- how much of its identity it can retain. A systems identity is based on how much it can remember- or how much it can maintain a coherency over time. The ability of a system to span time is one measure of its ethical capacity. The connections between unpredictable economies, social relations, and global systems we can hardly comprehend speaks of the need to INVENT new ways to research these relationships- to see them, to test them, and finally to propose the value in them. Can we think of an ethical action in the city today, which supports both the absolute inviolability of the individual identity, yet places that identity in the web of collective intelligence? POWER Power in its simple form is the ability to exert force out into the world, changing configurations. But POWER in its Foucauldian sense is not something that a single body with a will organizesit is more a range of possible actions and outcomes that seek a technical, a physical outlet to become real in the world. This does not necessarily mean that power always resides in physical systems, and in fact it could be better understood as a balance between virtual systems and material ones. Nonetheless, power is something that organizes bodies. How we choose to engage it is a key ethical question. ARCHE-CINEURBANISMS

Superstudio image
Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

That gives us a generalized introduction to the network I'd like to draw between time in all its forms, intelligence, and ethics. A few weeks ago I gave a brief talk about the work we are doing in our office, developing an online computer game with film, comic, and urban intervention components; I’m not going to talk about that tonight as the examples I will go over have more to do with a broad stroke definition of the complex temporal structure. One of the questions that remains is this : How do we get FROM TIME INTO SPACE?
“There is no route out of the maze. The maze shifts as you move through it, because it is alive. PARSIFAL: " I move only a little, yet already I seem to have gone far." GURNEMANZ: " You see, my son, here time turns into space." The whole landscape becomes indistinct. A forest ebbs out and a wall of rough rock ebbs in, through which can be seens a gateway. The two men pass through the gateway. What happened to the forest? The two men did not really move, they did not go anywhere, and yet they are not now where they originally were. 'Here time turns into space.’” from VALIS, PK Dick

Decerteau images Michel Decerteau's idea of ethical time in his text The practice of everyday life is illustrative of this. The cycle from matter to time, back to matter, is one that takes place every moment, on countless levels of reality. As systems meet each other, exchange information and energy, and process these exchanges to form temporary or lasting alliances and new structures. DeCerteau, of course, is concerned with a specific branch of these new systems- he's interested in systems that process time such that an emancipatory structure will emerge in humans- in individuals and societies. This idea of locating the points of escape- the opportunities for a person caught in a preexisting set of relationships to become aware of their bounds and to pass thru them- is implicated in the topological idea of time that I have been developing.

Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

All about my Mother image to Start

Let's consider the film All About My Mother by Almodovar. The film tells the story of Manuela, a mother in her early 40s who has a stable life in Madrid with her teenage son Esteban, the happy result of a turbulent relationship some years earlier in Barcelona. In the beginning of the film we see them together in their relationship in Madrid, and we then see his sudden and tragic death. The story plays out her return to Barcelona to recover the lost time of her life there with her late son’s father. She is reunited with some of the people that she knew, as well as meeting an entirely new range of characters who begin to recapitulate both the earlier stages of her life, when she was an amateur actress, and also several other stories which had, as she put it, ‘marked her life.’

Allabout Eve images
Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

The structure of this film is amazing as it overlaps Mankiewiecz' film All About Eve [which is on its own a nesting of time systems and stories cascading thru each other] with the play ' A Streetcar Named Desire'- extracting core themes, character traits, and events from both source texts and redeploying them in new locales and situations. Manuela herself acted as a younger woman in Streetcar, where she met Esteban’s father; on the night of her son’s death, they see the same play together; and later in the story Manuela joins the theatre group and acts once again in Streetcar. However, it goes much beyond that. In All About Eve, the main character Eve is drawn as a fairly one dimensional creature- fascinating in her compulsions, but limited in scope. On the other hand, in All About my Mother, the main character Manuela is nuanced in her experiences, and her desires and responses to her situation. Although on the surface she seems to 'imitate' Eve's path of initiation into the life of the theatreshe has a radically different set of motivations and responses to her new location. Manuela is a more COMPLEX individual, perhaps because she's internalized more DURATION than, by comparison, EVE. Her reactions to her situation are more embedded with not only raw time- but with certain kinds of moral choices and responsibilities that this time allows her to be aware of. It's possible to follow Manuela's experience of time through this film and see how her decisions and memories are constantly folding the present and the past into each other- and how the circumstances of the situation are embedding the layers of reality in the characters' lives into a preexisitng structure found in All About Eve and Streetcar named Desire... these preexisting structures operate as archetypal stories, as well as codings of power relationships which begin to enforce DESTINY and FATE.

All About my Mother sequence

As one example- the link between the moment just before her son's death in Madrid, to a moment just as she is entering a theater in Barcelona some months later; in the first moment, her son secretly observes her as she is waiting for him; in the second moment we see Manuela looking from the entry to this second theatre, seeing in her memory her son looking at her; clearly she knows that he had been watching her several months before- just before his death- but she could only know this in retrospect, perhaps by reading his handwritten journal.
Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

This loop is tied to her decision to go see the play again. But it's more complex than just that. She sees the play again and understands it more clearly, because she herself played Stella when she was a young amateur actress. Her memory loop is embedded in a previous experience where she met her husband, the father of her young son, who dies. How does repetition begin to work with this sequence? Almodovar sketches out a very special kind of repetition in this film. It is a repetition which suggests that only thru the actual repetition of lived experience being placed against a kind of TEST repetition- the repetition of storytelling, over and over again- can a person reach the level of awareness and calm that Manuela has reached. How can she even survive after having gone thru what she has gone thru? Because she's rehearsed these moments in several layers of reality: in the direct, real, physical reality of her own experience- already modulated by the narrative of Streetcar- then in the acting of the play itself when she was in her 20s- then in the realization of some of the themes of abandonment from the play as she herself flees her life in Barcelona for a new one with her son in Madrid- then 17 years later as she sees the play again- then two months later as she sees the play again, with yet a new set of eyesthen as she embodies the life of EVE, in her own life- to the point where Huma's lover even mentions that Manuela is playing the part of EVE to steal her roleand finally her own confession, which places her in a unique and much more aware place than EVE could possibly be at the end of All About Eve. Because Manuela has lived through so MANY MORE cycles in the time space loop that deCerteau presents us with- and because each of these cycles has depended on a set of layers- some real, some fictional, some present and some only in memory- she's developed a moral and ethical awareness- and a capacity to act- which EVE is simply incapable of. Although ALL ABOUT EVE is a film set in a folded, looping time, the time it encompasses is only that of the mind of the narrator Addison- whereas the loops that ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER establish arc out into multiple dimensions.

Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

All About Eve Mirrors ALL ABOUT EVE does not neglect the evolutionary capacity these time loops provide, of course. Other characters in ALL ABOUT EVE do evolve- Margo, for example. But EVE herself is trapped in a closed loop, like an isolated thermodynamic system, as impossible to escape as the hall of mirrors her own new understudy looks into at the very end of that film. EVE has not found the channel by which to use memory as an active tool to revision herself. This moment of revisioning which Manuela accomplishes is what decerteau touches on in his work on storytelling and StoryTime, describing the way that an event is actually a lived story which has embedded within it multiple layers of reality and of power.

Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

Labyrinth Topology image
Why does Dionysus need Ariadne or to be loved? He sings a song of loneliness; he cries out for a fiancee. Dionysus is the god of affirmation, but a second affirmation is needed if affirmation itself is to be affirmed. It has to be divided if it is to redouble. Nietzsche indeed distinguishes the two affirmations when he says: "Eternal affirmation of being, eternally I am your yes. " Dionysus is the affirmation of being, but Ariadne is the affirmation of affirmation, the second affirmation or the becoming active. In this way, all of Ariadne's symbols change their meaning when they refer to Dionysus rather than being deformed by Theseus. Not only does Ariadne's song cease to be an expression of resentment and become an active search, that already affirms ("Who are you...Is it me, me that you want? All of me?" ), but the labyrinth itself is no longer the labyrinth of knowledge and morals; it is no longer that path taken by he who holds the thread and will kill the bull. The labyrinth has become the white bull itself, Dionysus the bull: " I am your labyrinth." More precisely, the labyrinth is now Dionysus' ear, the labyrinthine ear. Ariadne must have ears like those of Dionysus to hear the Dionysian affirmation, but also to say yes to this affirmation in Dionysus' own ear.

-Deleuze on Nietzsche So we return to the idea of the structure of time and the dialogues that it can encourage. Time as a topological field exists within matter , which we no longer define as a duality in relationship to memory, but always folded inseparably into the virtual. Always one inside the other, infinitely. Proust's vision of a fluid reality is only one example of the way that an individual perception can extend itself into time, and act as a catalyst for us in our own interactions with the world. Almodovar provides another less dreamlike idea of awareness, one based on risk, memory, and love.
Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

Sun image And this is why I return to the constitution of the aware body, the individual in time and space. This is why I insist that all these discussions must be grounded in the examples of small, everyday freedoms judged against the freedom and will of the collective. Architecture and urbanism are nothing if they stop valuing the most transient, dreamlike, intangible waves of emotion, sensation, memory, and culture, if they leave those behind for the vast flows of capital and energy which become ever more distributed globally as invisible laws. This is yet more true today, as the social structures and collectivities that we have experienced for several thousand years in large cities are being revolutionized by new technologies which overturn our current experience of memory and social structure.

Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

Brandenburg gate image

Each voice will have weight, increasingly so. This is why Negri talks about love in his text Time of Revolution. He argues that it is utterly necessary to experience the collapse of multiple times that love isand to contextualize that in the direct experience of being the singular, utterly unique, yet in a collective political body, which is utterly diverse. This definition of love is one which can only be realized through practice, through interaction. It is a particular kind of consciousness which has to be aware of the singular and the collective: a kind of thinking which demands the presence of multiple times. I've already argued that there are certain kinds of quite literal time machines that we find in the most banal everyday settings.

Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

NeoRealist image These time machines run the gamut from the way we make coffee in the morning, repeating gestures centuries old, all the way up to the structure of a social economy or use of building materials in a city. Each time machine is a set of rules for encoding, compressing, storing, and then decoding the full range of times any object has access to. To make a very large building, for example, you will need not only the technical skill of an architect. You will also need to harness great masses of energymelting steel, rolling it, reforming it- as well as huge reserves of capital, which equates to power on a social scale. It will be a battle. Free University Consider an open plan office space in a
Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

structure which has no columns in the space- reflecting one view of efficient office use and protocolswhich protocols will be unfrozen and utilized on a daily basis. But other flows you harness will not be unfrozen- the energy in the beams and columns for example, will remain trapped, slow, immanent, barring some catastrophe. The capital will slow to a crawl as it embeds itself in the work of the construction, in the labor, in the material of the building.
Solar furnace image

Each of these components is a time machine. The office space is faster, more fluid. The steel in the building locks into place certain relationships and possible futures.

BAILY image

There is another story I had wanted to talk about here- Lem’s novel Solaris, and the two extraordinary films that have been made as interpretations of it by Tarkovsky and Soderbergh. It is a much longer discussion, though, so I will only pass by this reference, with the observation that all three versions are deep meditations on the problem of awareness, material intelligence, and responsibility.
***
Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

Love does not fix in place a possible future for a body, at least in its most abstract and liberating sense, or in its most politicized sense. But what it does carry with it in its function as a time machine is the possibility for intelligence, consciousness, generosity, and the constantly evolving ethic that Deleuze has called an ethology. This is how the experience of love works as a time machine: it brings the possibility for a constitution of freedom forward in time and back in time- across all the times that it can touch. It is a kind of destiny, but one which engenders intelligence and ethology.

Tarkovsky image

Some years ago I wrote several ‘song’ lyrics while thinking of Tarkovsky’s film Sacrifice, Dylan Thomas’ poems, and Eliot’s Quartets. Each of those artists had visions of the necessity for commitment to the present moment, like Antonio Negri- but also open to an indefinable mysticism, which is I believe crucial. The question I extract out of postmodernisms’s philosophical wanderings is this: how to sustain the aura of myth, while at the same time insisting on the brute facticity of things, the complete relativity of values. The answer is contained in the spectra of complex time I have spoken of.
"we turn to light, the green of leaves the truth of sun on sand and dust and whirled aside a watchmaker's bride sighs her last as the fruit's consumed ... what faith could we yet bring to nurse this barkless branchthat like water, Stone upon the ready steelwould lace through with life, and golden hues and breed a humming sanctuary the wood rife with driving flame the darting wing, iridescent note rebirth a myth, for human time is only NOW."

Ed Keller August 2003
Time, Ethics, Intelligence Ed Keller : Columbia GSAPP Summer evening lecture 2003

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