Chatting: Bojana Kunst and Danae Theodoridou

We wrote this text together on Skype one week after our encounters with visitors at Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers. Danae proposed a sentence to Bojana, a sentence about time. Bojana responded in writing, to which Danae in turn replied:

[11:20:20] danae theodoridou: If we learn about ourselves from time, perhaps time, in turn, can learn something from us.

[11:23:33] Bojana Kunst: What can time learn from us? I imagine this can only be possible when we are at one with time, when time is not overwhelming us.

[11:28:40] danae theodoridou: What can time learn from us? He (Chronos in Greek is masculine and I somehow like to preserve these gendered figures in my mind) can probably learn a lot from us women, I mean us in the feminine. He can learn, for example, NOT to get ahead of us or fall behind us. He can learn to stay WITH us (I also like to preserve this "togetherness" instead of the identification with time‒next to us and by our side) and he can learn to be sweet and tender. What can we learn from time?

[11:37:22] Bojana Kunst:  There are so many false motives in us, in our work, in our relationships, and in our politics, which make time our enemy. But time is not our enemy, nor is it something that is outside of us, pressing us, or giving us directions. That is what we can learn from time, but to learn from time is difficult for one has to listen to him, and also allow him to learn from us. 

[11:41:29] danae theodoridou: So it is all about listening to and softening him. I now wonder, of course, which sounds, which words, and which music that listening would involve, and which gestures, caresses, nearness, distances, passions, works, thoughts, politics and relationships that softening would involve.

[11:52:59] Bojana Kunst: These musings of yours remind me that one may live in many different ways. Our lessons from time could involve politics, which would slow us down, passions which would open up to the intensities of life so they would no longer be divided from life, and caresses which would have time on their side.

[12:03:10] danae theodoridou: In other words, I guess it would involve more than one approach to time. As Matthew Goulish wonderfully wondered: how do you then approach something? You approach it from every angle. This includes, of course, from the angle of slowness, nothingness and waiting, but it could also involve the angles of immediateness, fastness, absoluteness, totalness and foreverness of a great passion, and that would still be fine so long as you stay connected, keep listening to him and are not divided, as you say.

[12:15:00] Bojana Kunst: It is more about different intensities through which you can maintain relations with time and through which time can maintain relations with you. Maybe this can also be described as attention, because attention is not just paying attention to something, but allowing that "something" to reach us, to touch us, to speak to us. Whatever the quality of time, the question remains‒is it possible to reverse cause and effect? Do we actually slow down to be slower or do we slow down because it is the slowness of the world that is affecting us and slowing us down? Are we fast because we have to be fast or do we become fast because the velocity of the world gets inside of us?

[12:33:35] Bojana Kunst: Danae you are not visible, you got disconnected again.

[12:33:43] danae theodoridou: Yes, I am trying to tune in to your thoughts right now, to "attend" to them (this relation between "attend" and "attention" can be revealing here). I am trying to open up space for them, to allow them to reach me and, as you say, to affect me. I think it is working. Am I slower to be slower, am I faster because I have to be faster? I think that, in these terms, pace no longer matters. When your relation with time is one of pure affection and attention, as you say, then pace (slowness and fastness) does not matter. What matters is that you are there, in, on, by and with time. It is hard not to take it to more physical levels of bodies being in, on, by and with other bodies; time and us.

Text published in Le Journal des Laboratoires January-April 2012