From such a musical centre, one may sense the divergent temporalities each of us inhabits simultaneously, and draw relations to the ongoing fundamental transformations happening around us.
Yet the trope allows for another reading. The frozen self-image of Western art music places music outside of time as well as outside of its own time: by claiming avant-gardism – being ahead of its time, and by clinging to abstractions – timelessness, universality, structure. Contrary to this (Berger seems to suggest), music – all sorts of music – may in fact be a centre for and a portal to things temporal, may grant access to time in varied modalities.
More than ever, time – as a political category – is of the essence when it comes to learning to make sense of the erratic commotions of the present. Maybe music can help us find ways to do so. This is a time for listening.
Time Wars. – This Festival for Time Issues proposes to probe the current state of affairs through the lens of time and through listening, collectively considering what today’s “beings in time” experience on a daily basis, exposed as they are to diverging and colliding temporal force fields: flexibilization, fragmentation and the maxing out of capacities; time horizons shrunk, stretched and warped; the vertigo of reciprocal speed and slowness; the loss of temporal claim and agency. Our hypothesis is that a war is raging between temporalities. Less obvious, perhaps, than today’s countless other conflicts, but no less real.
The goal of these ten days is to detect, experience, reflect upon – and occasionally escape – the time-related forces operating on us: the systemic temporal violence unleashed by turbocapitalism; the proliferation of non-human, digital time; the slow violence of environmental degradation; the speeds and spans of media attention; the permanent state of exception; the dispossessed temporalities of migration both free and forced.
The artists and projects constituting this fourth edition of MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues all relate to this set of questions and concerns – each in their own way, not always in an obvious or direct way. At the same time, and importantly, the artistic works presented in the festival constitute their own worlds. Independent of their curatorial contextualization, they stand and speak for themselves, open to all possible forms of sensing and reading.
We are looking forward to welcoming you at MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues 2018.
Berno Odo Polzer
Artistic Director MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues