Sweet Surrender

We’re living in an age with a central tension around time and shortcuts. Do we want frictionless experiences like instant ordering online and on-demand entertainment, drone-delivered pizza and the elimination of waiting in line? Or do we want to experience and even see time pass?

The answer is: both. In Scandinavia, Slow TV is a popular genre, even featured on Netflix. You can tune in to the real-time excitement of people knitting together, a train wending its 7-hour way from one city to the next, or a log burning in a fireplace. Some people argue that “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and other such reality TV is of the Slow TV “nothing happens” genre too.

Andy Warhol’s 1964 film “Empire” was a continuous, stationary shot of the Empire State Building that clocked in at over 8 hours. He never allowed it to be screened unless it was in its entirety, and said that one would watch it “to see time go by.” What we at sparks & honey call this is Tedious content, but it could also be an example of a trend we call Tangible Intangible, or making something otherwise invisible, visible or legible to experience.

Perhaps with all our modern technology-enabled shortcuts, we miss watching time pass in our own lives. To do so is a new kind of luxury. So we crave other people’s tedium to remind us of the sweet surrender to time.