Occupy Time

RP 171 () / Commentary

Until recently a casual observer might have thoght that Occupy had developed a time-management problem: it was increasingly managed by movement a static, essentially timeless image of space. While Occupy Wall Street initially began with the declaration that 17 September would be the starting date and that it would continue for an unspecified period, the focus soon shifted to a general strategy of occupying public space. While this produced many victories, a certain ossification also emerged. What should have been one tactic among others began to harden into an increasingly homogenous strategy. For many of those involved, maintaining this spatial focus became the sine qua non of ‘the’ movement, even in the face of the changing of the seasons and the nationwide campaign of police evictions. In nearly every history-altering moment of the past, from the Paris Commune to the anti-globalization movement, it was the element of time that proved most decisive. Indeed, events of the past that are narrated as failures can be renarrated from the standpoint of the possible successes they have left behind, which remain to be actualized.

Rather than maintaining this spatial strategy at all costs, what is most interesting about Occupy now is that it is increasingly complicating static images of space by occupying time.

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