Time Unshackled

Martinon, Jean-Paul. 2017. Time Unshackled. New Formations, 92, pp. 11-24. ISSN 0950-2378 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

One of the biggest truisms of our age is the fact that we never have enough time to accomplish all the things we set out to do or that are imposed onto us. Our lives are not only ruled by clocks, they are always filled with looming deadlines, un-ticked to-do lists, ever-fuller inboxes... ‘I just won’t have enough time’, we lament again and again. We are handcuffed to time. But how can we make sense of these shackles? In this essay, this truism is analysed through the emblematic experience of the treadmill (this electric exercise machine made up of a continuous belt that allows one to run in place). Instead of suggesting a different or slow pace, instead of attempting to stop or step off the treadmill, the aim of this exploration is to think a new stance that allows us to diminish the allure of the treadmill and in doing so, unshackle ourselves from all interpretations of time as calculation. To achieve this bold aim, this essay takes its source of inspiration from the work of the late Heidegger and of a selection of complementary texts on speed, time, and the politics of temporality.

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Identification Number (DOI):



time, speed, acceleration, Martin Heidegger, fourfold, Jean-Luc Nancy

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


22 January 2017Accepted
September 2017Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

23 Jan 2018 11:27

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:43

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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