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Heterochrony in the Act: The Migratory Politics of Time

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Chapter Summary

While the moving image and migration were both phenomena of substantial currency and effect during the twentieth century, in the present moment, it appears that the visibility of video and migration is increasingly enhanced based respectively on the sheer volume and variety of populations on the move, and the pyramiding appeal and accessibility of video. Video is a medium of time; of time contrived, manipulated, and offered in different, multilayered ways. Time no longer captured, as in the very first strips of celluloid, nor even “sampled” in bits separated by cuts; time is “framed,” made to appear real but no longer indexically attached to the real time that it purportedly represents. Like cinema, it offers images moving in time—slow or fast, interrupting and integrating. Similarly, migration is an experience of time; of time as multiple, heterogeneous—the time of haste and waiting; the time of movement and stagnation; the time of memory and of an unsettling, provisional present, with its pleasures and its violence. I explore the interactions, connections and discrepancies between these two temporalitiesThrough several works from the video exhibition 2MOVE, I examine three intersections between video and migration. First, both are anchored in the conceptual metaphor of movement—but a movement that cannot be taken for routine, “natural,” or realist. Second, heterochrony offers temporal shelter to memories. And memories are themselves heterogeneous, multisensate, and multitemporal. Third, I probe the time of the viewing, which is the present.



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