Visual Representations of Time

In this portion of the course, we got into the visual representations of time. One of my favorites was a comic regarding this subject, in which one of the characters observed that “in learning to read comics, we all learned to perceive time spatially.” Comics are one of the most fascinating ways in which we can observe time, and perhaps even more relevantly, comics are an indicator of the change between generations. While our parents grew up on Charlie Brown and Calvin and Hobbes, we grew up on television and video games to stipulate our senses in this manner. This is yet another symbol of the rate of change of our technologies and how far we have come just in the span of one generation.

This leads to another interesting point about visual time, which is that there are many different forms and representations of visual time. Some are obvious – the wrinkles on a face or the grey hairs around out, coupled with someone’s physical signs of age. Others, less so – a physical newspaper instead of online articles or an older person choosing to write something down with a pen and paper instead of typing it. My point is that visual representations of time are all around us, but perhaps this entire class has been a visual representation of time. Perhaps just these four months have been their own visual representations of time, with all of us going through ups and downs, changes in our lives, and changes in the weather.

So when we think of visual representations of time, some of us will think of the obvious and more narrowly-defined representations, while others among us will think more existentially about these representations. We should be thinking about all things, in some form or another, as visual representations of the too-rapid passage of time, and this could include literally everything. Of course, the more narrow definition of a visual representation, such as a comic, is not necessarily wrong. However, we should try to make this definition much wider in scope, and by thinking of everything as fitting into this category, we can do so immediately.