Spatiotemporal experience through the use of ICTs and smart devices: a comparative analysis of the theories of Bergson and Lefebvre

Drakopoulou, Sophia ORCID logoORCID: (2012) Spatiotemporal experience through the use of ICTs and smart devices: a comparative analysis of the theories of Bergson and Lefebvre. In: Space: From Theory to Practice, 16 -17 November, Birkbeck School of Arts. . [Conference or Workshop Item]


This paper presents an investigation of commonalities and differences between Lefebvre’s theory of Rhythmology (1992) and his term ‘lived’ (1961, 1974, 1992) and Bergson’s theory of ‘duration’ (1889, 1896). Combining these two theoretical frameworks, it can be said that the comprehension of spatiotemporal experiences today is implemented through mediations of digital interfaces that allow for the fluid arrangement of meeting times and places. The paper explores how temporality and urban space are experienced and lived today through the incessant access to instantaneous communication technologies (ICT). It asserts that studying the lived experience of the individual in the city environment must include the use of ICT and smart devices.

Lefebvre situates the human body as the receptor of rhythms. Today the body and bodily senses are purged with tele-technologies; no longer in one singular spatiotemporal field, the smart device user encounters a multiplicity of spatial fields and temporal variations. The paper examines the lived experience as constituted within the techno-synthetically composed environment of the city that includes the physical world as well as digital data.

For Lefebvre in his book The Production of Space (1974) it is the symbolic and representational that form the notion of spatiality, of being in space. For Bergson it is the combination of sensible qualities and memory that contribute to the understanding of being in space. In Bergson, the qualitative sensations felt by the sensori-motor mechanism (sensible qualities), work together with memories and extensities and create the individuals’ spatiotemporal perception. In that way Bergson attributes an element of autonomy of the senses, as their interpretation is interdependent of past memories and the present that contribute to perceiving reality; the here and the now. In this light then, Lefebvre’s study of Rhythmanalysis comes close to the objectives achieved in Bergson’s memory cone (Matter and Memory, 1896) and inner duration dialectic (Time and Free Will, 1889). For Bergson it is the unpredictable mix of those elements that make up every moment, every duration unique and distinct from any other. Equally, Lefebvre’s study of Rhythmanalysis must take into account a mix of heterogeneities to arrive at the study of rhythm. Both thinkers, in different ways, are thinking of the free and radical comprehension of what constitutes reality. According to Fraser, the connection and similarity of Lefebvre’s thinking to Bergson’s is not a conscious one (Fraser 2008: 341). What connects them is the concept of the everyday lived experience that is central to both thinkers (Fraser 2008: 346).

Observing the production of space and studying everyday rhythms in Lefebvre, and the apprehension of reality as always something in the making in Bergson, are used to highlight how the comprehension of time and space is altered by the use of ICTS in everyday life.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Media
Item ID: 16325
Depositing User: Sophia Drakopoulou
Date Deposited: 26 May 2015 14:20
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:34

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