Thinking Together

Doing the Present. Neuropsychological and Philosophical Perspectives

Thinking Together – Lectures

Thinking Together

Thinking Together

  • The lectures will be in English

Past Dates

Marc Wittmann: The Duration of the Lived ‚Now‘

The contents of consciousness are phenomenally present – now. Phenomenal analysis points to a dual aspect of experience: the passage of time and the feeling of a present moment. Phenomenal consciousness thus consists of a window of presence in the continuous flow of experiences related to what is happening right now. Regarding the experience of living in the here and now the question arises: what are the temporal limits of conscious awareness, what is the duration of the experienced now? At least three levels of temporal present pertaining to temporal integration with different duration can be discerned: (1) in the range of milliseconds, a functional integration moment defines whether events are perceived as simultaneous or as appearing temporally ordered; (2) in the range of up to two or three seconds, the experienced moment is related to temporal segmentation in perception and action; (3) in the range of multiple seconds, continuity of experience is formed by working-memory processes leading to the sense of mental presence. Present experience is however a single unitary state. Experiences on lower levels of temporal integration are embedded and discontinuously fused into the highest level of integration: mental presence. As will be shown through examples in music, poetry, and artistic movement, these levels of present experience temporally shape our aesthetic perception and action.

Christian Grüny: The Depth of the Present
The present cannot be reduced to the Now, even in its extended version. Since William James’ „specious present“ and Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology of time, the Now has been extended to encompass a stretch of time rather than a point in time. But that is not enough. While this image of time suggests continuity and a virtual presence of the past as memory and the future as expectation, we should think of time as an articulation, a unity of discontinuity and continuity whose depth is just as important as its width. The present is a relation of emerging and unfolding events to past events of different scope and distance. While the past shapes the present, it is also transformed by it. The present in its relation to its past is just as open as the future: only afterwards will we know what it will have been and what its past was. Far from being a given, the present and its depth are the locus of openness and transformation.
These temporal relations become explicit in the arts, especially in music. Drawing on the works of Bergson, Mead, Husserl, Luhmann and Hasty, the talk will sketch a complex model of time and some of its exemplifications in the temporal practice of the arts.

“Thinking Together”
consists of two parts:
SAT 12 & SUN 13 March, 12:00–18:00
Conference “Time and the Digital Universe”
MON 14 to FRI 18 March, 10:00–18:00
Workshops, seminars, projects
Registration for the work groups is kindly requested:

Curated by Berno Odo Polzer

“Thinking Together” – the discourse format is dedicated to exploring the phenomenon of time in its socio-political, philosophical and artistic dimensions. Consisting of lectures, workshops, public talks and experimental settings, the project provides time and space to reflect current time-related issues together with international guests from the fields of philosophy, political and social science, cultural studies, computer and neuroscience as well as music, dance, performance and visual art.

The opening conference under the title “Time and the Digital Universe” investigates new forms of digital time, their structures and ramifications, followed by a host of different projects between 14 and 18 March. Amongst the topics are current politico-philosophical imaginations of temporality, non-linear concepts of time, the notion of rhythm as an analytical tool, as well as the differing time practices of the arts, philosophy and science.