Time Elastic: In Conversation with Dylan Godwin's the non-sequitur at work and play
To Empty Time
Between the setting forth of things to come, and the closing off of things that could just as well go on, I wonder whether the clown not only ‘waits to end waiting’, but in digressing, in endlessly schematizing onwardness, renders sensible the conditions through which the name empty is often bestowed upon waited time. To wait is, at the very least, to submit the present to an anticipatory origin to come, to gaze towards the promise of a revelatory messianism, the deliverance always just beyond the horizon. Or, as Vladimir and Estragon suggest, to wait is to endure the passing of an empty time projecting itself endlessly towards more empty time.
Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful.
But this waiting presumes time’s discreteness, supposes its alienation from the listless bodies passing it. Here digression is not a making of time, but the mark of all anticipatory time’s others. In Waiting, these others are a singular other, the nothingness that the fiction of somethingness ventriloquizes.
In taking their digression ‘itself for a subject’, Vladimir and Estragon’s mode of travel strips time bare, configures it as the impasse against which we stage our fictions.
To Curtain Time
Silence ESTRAGON Well, shall we go? VLADIMIR: Yes, let’s go. They do not move.
As the theatre goer know, however, curtain time is but the fantasy of fixed, impregnable time. Time as impasse, as empty space to be fictionalized or endured, is but a modality of time. Whenever the curtain up is eventually called, it is true that what is figured is a space of endurance, the conceit of onwardness, but this does not simply inaugurate time. It spotlights the very elasticity of the interface, the operations producing and portioning
sensible time. Mina Loy’s Futurist call, while similarly rupturing Aristotelian anticipatory time, inverses the logic of waited time, and in so doing, stresses this elasticity.
DIE in the Past
Live in the Future.
THE velocity of velocities arrives in starting.
Here the final and ultimate exit prefaces all beginnings, but the future does not subsume the present in a perpetual waiting; it is engulfed by the present, potentializing all assemblages of onwardness. This sentiment should not be confused with a turn to the acceleration, force and newness for newness sake of Marinetti’s futurism— yet another temporal modality— but instead stresses the stage’s, as well as all representational openings, potential for the configuration of temporality itself. The velocity of velocities arrives in starting. A beginning is a parceling out of a particular assemblage of sensible time. But whereas sticking to the program is only ever the reaffirmation of time past, it is in digression that time is newly restored.
To Make It In Time
The mapped, the anticipatory, erects itself upon the threat of mutinous departure. But while the off-roading of a clown car might offer a spectacle of whimsical detours and defiant weighing on, its fundamental gag is premised upon the invisible, ecstatic making within, the ceaseless production that defies the anticipatory and awes with the wonder of the impossible made visible.