Carter is practicing this evening on the guitar. He has Aurora Map Tourist Attractions here at home a harpsichord, forte-piano, harmonica, guitar, violin, and German Aurora Map Tourist Attractions flutes, and at Williamsburg, he has a good pipe organ. In the morning so soon as it is light a boy knocks at my door to make a fire; after the fire is kindled, I rise which now in the winter is commonly by seven, or a little after.
The relationship that develops between the caller and participant and the physical mobility of the performance is mediated by various technologies such as mobile phones and live internet streaming. It presents, like Dickens’ London, a polyrhythmic ensemble’ (Crang 2000) where times and spaces overlap. As Jon May and Nigel Thrift put it, in their examination of time and space, the picture that emerges is less that of a singular or uniform social time, than of various (and uneven) networks of time stretching in different and divergent directions across an uneven social field (May and Thrift 2001: 5). A performance such as this goes beyond language to re-imagine the city as a globalized space which links two cities in different spaces and times. We can imagine it only as thirdspace, a space both real and imagined.
This performance – directed from Kolkata and played out in Berlin – relies on aspects of the realities of the international economy with its flows of media and global division of labour. It allows both the caller and the participant to experience the limitless spaces of simultaneity and the paradoxes of urban life, and together negotiate the unknown present. Paradoxes abound: the space is both limited and expanded; local and global; known and unknown; rhythmic and arrhythmic; and chaotic and ordered. From the malevolence of the rail line to Auschwitz to the excitement of consumer-oriented Postdamer Platz, the participant makes his or her way through an uncertain terrain, never quite knowing where they will end up, via a mediated relationship between two people who are at once strangers and confidants. The relationship is both intimate and public; familiar and unfamiliar; and present and distant. These complexities can be imagined through a combination of the concrete materiality of a Firstspace’ combined with the cognitive maps and cultural representations of a Secondspace,’ amalgamated into a new epistemology – a thirdspatial dimension that is experiential. It provides for a new way to re-imagine the city that goes beyond language to become an aesthetics of presence – Amin and Thrifts poetics of knowing’ (2002:14). This present is so complex in its limitless simultaneity and paradox that it is unrepresentable and must be experienced if it is to be re-imagined in the global era.
By the time I am drest the children commonly enter the school-room, which is under the room I sleep in; I hear them round one lesson, when the bell rings for eight o-clock for Mr. Carter has a large good bell which may be heard some miles, and this is always rung at meal times; the children then go out; and at half after eight the bell rings for breakfast, we then repair to the dining-room; after breakfast, which is generally about half after nine, we go into school, and sit till twelve, when the bell rings, and they go out for noon; the dinner-bell rings commonly about half after two, often at three, but never before two. After dinner is over, which in common, when we have no company, is about half after three we go into school, and sit til the bell rings at five, when they separate til the next morning.