Viewing Velocities

Viewing Velocities:Time in Contemporary Art

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Contemporary art and the culture of speed

How have artists responded to our market-driven, tech-enabled culture of speed? Viewing Velocities explores a contemporary art scene caught in the gears of 24/7 capitalism. It looks at artists who embrace the high-octane experience economy and others who are closer to the slow movement. Some of the most compelling artworks addressing the cadences of contemporary work and leisure play on distinct, even contradictory conceptions of time. From Danh Vo's relics to Moyra Davey's photographs of dust-covered belongings, from Roman Ondak's queuing performers and Susan Hiller's outdoor sleepers to Maria Eichhorn's art strike and Ruth Ewan's giant reconstruction of the French revolutionary calendar, artists have drawn out aspects of the present temporal order that are familiar to the point of near-invisibility, while outlining other, more liberating ways of conceiving, organising and experiencing time.

Marcus Verhagen builds on the work of theorists Jonathan Crary, Hartmut Rosa and Jacques Rancière to trace lines of insurgent art that recast struggles over time and history in novel and revealing terms.


  • Compelling and groundbreaking. These analyses point toward imaginative possibilities beyond the dispiriting neoliberal imperatives now increasingly imposed on us.

    Jonathan Crary, author of Scorched Earth
  • A fine reading of contemporary art's engagements with social acceleration and the regulation of time.

    Julian Stallabrass, author of Killing for Show
  • Offers a lucid and capacious analysis of how contemporary art has, over the last three decades or so, addressed our society's troubled experience with the speed and pace of life under capitalism

    J.J. CharlesworthArtReview