The posthastism post

Realtime makes history of primetime. Hours before the competition unfolds on TV, I already know that Gaby takes the all-around gold, that Viktoria cries in despair, and that Aly loses the bronze to Aliya on a technicality. The report arrives before the event, mediawise. Prediction: The next Summer Olympics will be broadcast on the History Channel.

Language, like time, warps back on itself, and so we have a new movement — or is it an antimovement? — called posthastism, which in prerealtime, when we had time to think, would probably have been called postposthastism. From an interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist:

In his talk at Tate Modern last week, Tino Sehgal talked a lot about slowness, and how it was a key aspect of the way he engages with the world in his work. As someone known for your hyper-productivity, how do you relate to this idea of slowness?

I’m interested in resisting the homogenization of time: so it’s a matter of making it faster and slower. For art, slowness has always been very important. The experience of seeing art slows us down. Actually, we have just founded a movement with Shumon Basar and Joseph Grima last week called posthastism, where we go beyond haste. Joseph Grima was in Malta, and he had this sudden feeling of posthaste. Shumon and I picked up on it and we had a trialogue, which went on for a week on Blackberry messenger. Posthastism. [Reading from a sheet of paper hastily brought in by his research assistant] As Joseph said: “Periphery is the new epicenter,” “post-Fordism is still hastism because it’s immaterial hastism, which could lead now’s posthastism.” One more thing to quote is “delays are revolutions,” which was a good exhibition title.

Was Joseph Grima really feeling posthaste in Malta or was he experiencing its opposite? “Posthaste” comes from an instruction written on letters a few centuries ago: “Haste, Post, Haste.” Which meant: Get it there quicker than quick. Run, mailman, run! We’ve always yearned for realtime, even when messages moved at footspeed. But now we really have it. #hastetwitterhaste seems unnecessary — an immateriality in an age of immaterial hastism.

Obrist is right, though: realtime is homogenized time and hence needs to be resisted. So sign me up for posthastism, posthaste. “Delays are revolutions”: that’s a slogan I can march under. My manifesto:

— Never respond to a text until at least 24 hours have passed.

— Wait four days or more before replying to an email.

— Tweet about things that happened a month ago.

— Stop your Facebook Timeline at the turn of the last century.

— Watch the Olympics on NBC after dinner.

The revolution, it turns out, will be televised. On tape delay. Viva primetime!

This post is an installment in Rough Type’s ongoing series “The Realtime Chronicles,” which began here.

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