Present Tense 2020: An Iconology of Time
Activity in the context of the Thinkers' cycle
“Present Tense 2020: For an Iconology of Time” is a reflection on the perennial philosophical question of temporality, situated in the present moment of simultaneous global crises. Instead of asking the traditional (and unanswerable) question, “what is time?” this talk asks how we picture time—and the present moment—in metaphors, patterns, forms, and iconic events. What can we learn from an anachronistic coupling of contemporary images and media spectacles with ancient figures of time such as Kronos, Kairos, and Aion? How have different scales of time—climate change, political cycles, the course of a pandemic, the “split second” of police decision making—converged to produce an epoch of special historic intensity, especially in the United States? Why is the present moment, the year 2020, an especially good time for thinking about time?