Historical Time and Mechanical Time – WB

Historical time, however, differs from this mechanical time. It determines much more than the possibility of spatial changes of a specific magnitude and regularity – that is to say, like the hands of the clock – simultaneously with spatial changes of a complex nature. And without specifying what goes beyond this, what else determines historical time – in short, without defining how it differs from mechanical time – we may assert that the determining force cannot be grasped by, or wholly concentrated in, any empirical process. Rather a process that is perfect in historical terms is quite indeterminate empirically; it is in fact an idea.

Walter Benjamin, ‘Trauerspiel and Tragedy’, in Selected Writings Vol.1, 1913-26, pp.55-57, p.55.


About anti

Anthony Iles is currently a doctoral candidate at the School of Art & Design, Middlesex University. A founder member of the Full Unemployment Cinema. A contributing editor with Mute / Metamute since 2005. He is the author, with Josephine Berry-Slater, of the book, No Room to Move: Art and the Regenerate City (Mute Books, London 2011), contributing editor to the recent publications, Anguish Language: writing and crisis (Archive Books, Berlin, 2015), and Look at Hazards, Look at Losses (Mute/Kuda, 2017) and a contributor to Brave New Work: A Reader on Harun Farocki’s Film A New Product. Recent essays have been published in Mute, Radical Philosophy, Rab-Rab: Journal for Political and Formal Inquiries in Art and Logos.
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1 Response to Historical Time and Mechanical Time – WB

  1. Dove says:

    There is no History, in hegelian sense.

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