• The experience and perception of duration in three contemporary performances

      Waite, Julian; Harrop, Peter; Layton, James R. (University of Chester, 2016-04)
      I argue in this thesis that qualitative duration (viewed in opposition to the construct of quantitative clock-time) can be experienced through performance encounters that challenge smooth consumption. In a socially accelerated culture, where to do more in less time is the measure of a productive life, one’s connection with the ‘real’ time of duration is diminished. To challenge this premise, I have used an autoethnographic approach to explore an experience of duration conceived via the work of French philosopher Henri Bergson, who posits that “pure duration [is that which] excludes all idea of juxtaposition, reciprocal externality, and extension” (Bergson, 1903/1999, p. 26). In other words, Bergson asserts that duration defies quantitative measurement. I argue that the Bergsonian experience of duration offers a pause from social acceleration and effects a transformation for the spectator in the form of peak-experience, flow, and communitas.