About time: Mobilities Transformation


Published by Harriet Phipps

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

The Siegen Symposium ‘On Time’ was just inspiring. The organisers – Claudio Coletta (Antwerp), Jörg Potthast, Tobias Röhl, and Susann Wagenknecht (Siegen) set the scene with a careful and thought provoking position paper. They argue that:

temporality and normativity are interwoven with one another: Timings convey norms and normative shifts. Rhythms enforce forms of life, conveying rules and principles. Flows of time fit experience and expectation to one another producing specific versions of past, present and future. The end of time conjures up both utopian and dystopian visions.

Yet, while the plurality of normative orders has emerged as a crucial issue of social theory (Boltanski & Thévenot, 1999), its temporal dynamics have received little attention so far. And while the accelerating dynamics of time (Rosa, 2015; Simmel, 1903; Benjamin, 1999; Virilio, 1997; Wajcman & Dodd, 2017) as well as the plurality of temporal orders have been recognized  (Lefebvre, 2004), implications for theorizing normative orders remain unclear.

To develop a deeper understanding they brought together a group of researchers whose work on transport and mobilities could shed light on the normatively of temporal orders and the temporalities of normative structures in motion. See here for the full programme.

Monika Buscher’s keynote explores how we might ‘mobilise’ utopia as method to gain traction on a great mobilities transformation.

About Time: Changing mobilities and creative urbanism

We act as we do because we can get away with it: future generations do not vote, they have no political or financial power; they cannot challenge our decisions”, a recent UN report states. But opportunistic use of normative disjunctures in time is only part of the story. How is (dis-)alignment between temporal, social, and moral orders done? And how do ‘we’ fail to connect across generations, spaces and times? As anthropogenic climate change and environmental destruction are making their monumental mark in the ‘deep time’ of geological earth history, ruinous collapse of large parts of the biosphere is made to happen in the lived temporal and normative orders of modernity, capitalism, and human time. People are notoriously bad at perceiving the ‘system-ness’ of their actions. However, not only are cities essential for a low carbon great transformation, they are also spaces of hope where temporal and normative orders of mobilities enable an emerging sense of crisis and of change. In this paper, I use praxeological reflections on the temporal organization of transport and traffic to explore the normative, prefigurative, performative momentum of changing mobilities and creative urbanism. Link to Prezi




You may also like…