Fast Post: Recent non-Academic Time work I’ve come across

2. 99% Invisible on the Colour of the Future

In this podcast, host Roman Mars discusses a recent experiment/study/project that shows that the most common colour in science fiction movies — the colour of the future, as it were — is blue. This is particularly interesting to me as it suggests the following: Art needs to use something other than time to represent the tenses (i.e., the A-series). Art does not — and perhaps cannot — represent tense with tense (it would be interesting to see someone try). You can’t just film something in a ‘past-y’ or ‘future-ly’ way. Something else has to do the work of saying ‘this is the future’, e.g., haircuts, colour, technology, types of glasses (for some reason, the most common futur-ing of this tends towards tacky wraparounds, i.e., Bono).

Or the work of saying ‘this is the past’, e.g., grainy film; colour decay photographic stock (the thing copied in Instagram); a preponderance of formal hats; black and white images: scratchy phonograph sounds.

Black and white is particularly misleading: this is 27 years older than this.

In comparison, how do we represent tenses in the experience of time? With surrogates, some equivalent to instagram, scratchy records, or other processes of degradation or sterilisation (as a blue filter might)? What is it about a memory experience or expectation which makes them distinguishable from a perceptual experience? Or how do you know an event you are thinking about is past, or future?

It’s not because it seems particularly more or less blue — or, in the case of a memory, that it seems particularly yellow-y. (Yet, when I think of the past, I do frequently think of summer days outside, and of the future as being in a low-lit room).


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