How is time configured in processes of artistic and cultural production? And what does this tell us about ideas of history, tradition, and imagination? This panel invites papers that theorise the multiple temporalities of creative practices across the arts, music, and cultural production.
From the project temporalities of freelance artistic labour, to the microsocial temporalities of performance, improvisation or studio practices, to the longue durée of cultural heritage traditions, variable forms of time and temporality are evoked and produced in processes of cultural production. Drawing on diverse ethnographic contexts, this panel expands on anthropological theorisations of time and transformation by drawing on fieldwork exploring the temporalities of artistic, musical, and cultural processes. We wish to highlight the need to analyse the multiplicity of conceptions and enactments of time in cultural processes, taking seriously the contributions of the arts and music to the production and theorization of time. Art and music have a dual quality: they are situated within ongoing historical processes, but they also produce time in diverse ways. Rather than dwelling on analyses of particular artistic practices and their ephemerality, or on conceptions of heritage and deep time, we aim to highlight how the study of multiple temporalities in artistic and cultural production can inform our understanding of history, tradition, and imagination more generally and feed back into core discussions in the anthropology of time and cultural history. We invite papers from any ethnographic context to address the following questions raised by theme 4 (transformation and time): How does time figure in imaginative and artistic processes? How are pasts and futures articulated through material and aesthetic practices? How are institutions involved in canonizing the past, preserving the present or promoting change? How can aesthetics be thought anew in relation to temporal processes?
Multiple temporalities in intercultural musical performance: imagining the future by bringing the past into the present
Curating the colonial past and a Pan-African future in the making of a reputable arts center in Johannesburg, South Africa