Edition 2014

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Art, Cognition and Psychopathologies

The Time and Its Images workshop series has opened up a permanent space for advanced academic research on time, society and culture and has created a European network of academics in this field. More specifically, it has extended Aesthetics and Cultural Studies research into the topic of time. As time is a fundamental structure of human perception, we are convinced that aesthetics, in the broadest sense,can offer a privileged perspective on the study of time.

The first edition of the workshop, Time, Image and Biopolitics, held in February 2013, took a multidisciplinary approach to the concept and experience of time in the wide field of knowledge. A physicist, a historian of technology, a political philosopher, an anthropologist, an art historian, a communication theorist, an artist and other specialists shared their points of view and discussed their research into the different conceptions of time.

Some of the questions raised in that first workshop pointed the way for future editions. Each of the three aspects of time – physical, social and psychological – needs further research, but without losing the transdisciplinary perspective. The social and psychological aspects of time, at least, cannot be understood withoutan understanding of their heteronomous, abnormal cases.

Accordingly, the second edition of the workshop will focus on the perceptual structure of time and related psychopathologies. Maintaining the transdisciplinary approach, various specialists in psychology, cognitive sciences andthe history of psychology and the history of psychiatry are invited to share their insights with academics from the fields of art and philosophy.

Issues addressedinclude aspects of the psychology of time, such as:What are the current theories of time in cognitive sciences? How do humans develop their perception of time? Do perceptual structures of time remain unchanged throughout a person’s life or do they change during human growth and ageing? Do people have different perceptions of time or are all people’s perceptions variations on a broader structure?

Another important issue, in relation to psychiatry, is whether there is, on the one hand, a normal perception of time and, on the other,a pathological one, or whether it is more appropriate to talk of a common, everyday perception of time and various altered, abnormal or even creative experiences. The workshop also brings attention to bear on certain studies in which the perception of time is found to be disordered in particular pathologies or states of mind, such as anxiety, depression, paranoia, melancholy, traumaand ecstasy.In order for the workshop to achieve its objective it is important that academics and practitioners share their knowledge and experience in these issues.

Finally, the workshop focuses on artistic expressions of non-normal perceptions of time. Art shows how different temporalities can shape different world views. It also shows how disturbed states of mind give rise to different experiences of time. Essentially, through the experience of time, art shows how mental distortions build up the world in a different way than the usual.

All these goals will be developed and extended in this second edition. We also intend to publish the papers from workshops I and II in a single volume.

The workshop will be organised in three sessions: the first will bring together experts in psychology and psychiatry, while the second and third will involve specialists in psychology and art.

The speakers who took part in the first workshop will be invited to take part in this second edition.

State of the question

The twentieth Century has seen how some of the most acknowledged philosophers devoted their deepest reflections to the question of time: in Phenomenology, Bergson and Husserl; in Existentialism, Heidegger, Sartre and Lévinas; in analytic philosophy, Russell and Mellor. However, after such efforts, we still wonder what time is and how it affects our lives and culture. A quick view over some current disciplines gives us an account of these plural and contradictory conceptions and uses of time. In cinema and literature studies dominates powerfully a narrative conception of time, very influenced by French semiologists and later by Ricoeur’s Temps et recit. Also in sociology, the concept of social and personal identity finds nowadays a narrative ground (i. e. Kenneth Gergen, 1996). Sociologists, in parallel with psychologists (Piaget) and cognitive psychologists (i.e. Hoerl and McCormack, 2001) state that time is plural and that it can be experienced differently only when the story is understood. In our everyday lives, the control and manipulation of time has some dominant models: our economic and social life is governed by a strongly organized objective structure of time, which is imposed by ways of accelerating our daily experiences (Virilio, 2006; Mary Ann Doane, 1995); political power on historical memory fully restricts the potentiality of new ways of understanding memory and history (Benjamin, Agamben), since our modes of attention and distention (entertainment) can be organised institutionally (Peter Osborne, 2008). In opposition to this conception, a very significant part of contemporary art since half a century ago confronts itself with time producing non-narrative, or rather anti-narrative, temporal experiences (see for instance the volume Heterocronías. Tiempo, arte y arqueologías del presente, 2008). And in mass-media the manipulation of time is used as an information and epistemic tool, that we seem to have naturally accepted already (Nichols, 2006; Capdevila, 2012).


It is not only scientifically important to meet specialists from different disciplines to discuss whether there can be established some common points among these conceptions and uses of time. It is also ethically and politically urgent to understand deeply how some models of time determine human beings in western cultures. The annual series of workshops on “Time and its Images” starting this year 2012 endeavours to bring an unpretentious, but critical and interdisciplinary, contribution to this important issue. In this wide horizon contemporary artcan play one of the main roles, taking into account its capacity to reflect on the immediate sensual and conceptual human life.

The main topics called for the first workshop are: the nature of time and how it constructs the subjectivity through its articulation of art and culture. It is also important to stress that this point has significant consequences in the theory of politics and culture. A second source of themes related to the first can be called the ‘simulacra of temporalities’, with which we mean by this notion all of the socially and politically imposed usages of time. Some of them come from mass-media and have epistemic implications; some others are imposed by the economic system; some others, by cultural or religious rituals; all of them, however, define a social order and determine individual lives from the outside. Finally, art will have an important presence in this series of workshops, since on the one hand, it can bring a privileged, non-interested, knowledge of culture and society and, on the other hand, can offer new and original models of experiencing time, that is, new and original models of human experience.

For the success of the project, it is necessary that the workshop gathers international and interdisciplinary academics as well as current artists, all of who have special interest and worked on/with the topic.

We are sure this workshop could be of interest of academics and postgraduate students in Humanities, Visual Culture and Cinema, artists and other people interested in art and contemporary culture. We will invite the students of the Master Estudis comparatius en Literatura, Art i Pensament and could also be opened to PEI (Macba) students.


Thursday, December 4th. Location: Auditori Mercè Rodoreda, Campus Ciutadella, UPF.

15:30   Presentation: Emilio Suárez, Head of the Department of Humanities (UPF).Victoria Cirlot, Institut Universitari de Cultura. Gerard Vilar, director of the Research Project on Aesthetic Experience and Artistic Research.

16:00   Dr. John Wearden (Keele University, U. K.), Varieties of time experience

17:15       Break

17:45   Dr. Antoni Vicens (UAB), Instante, tiempo y momento en el inconsciente.

21:00   Dinner at Restaurante Ciudadela


Friday, December 5th. Location: Aula 23.103, Campus Ciutadella, UPF.

10:00   Dra. Emilia García-Castro (Centro Salud Mental Avilés), La vivencia del tiempo en la psicología normal y en la patológica, Asturias

11:15   Break

11:45   Dr. Jordi Ibáñez (UPF), El tiempo de la angustia, el tiempo lógico y la cuestión de la vanguardia y la neovanguardia

13:00   Dr. Iván Sánchez (UB), Cinco escenas de amor y de muerte: La compulsion de repetición en la obra de Gustav Mahler

14:15   Lunch break

16:00   Miquel Escudero (Cinémathèque Française, Paris), The Time of the Dead. A melancholic crocodile and a lady from other times

17:15   Dra. Soliña Barreiro (UPF and UP Mataró), New Models of Time in Avant-Garde Cinema

18:30   Alberto Bernal, composer and sound artist. Poéticas sonoras del tiempo y la resistencia


19:45   Round Table. Conclusions. Pol Capdevila (UPF)

20:30   Dinner

There will be 30 minutes to read each paper and 30 more to discuss it with the audience. The last session is a round table, with presentations and final discussion.


Coordinator Contact

Dr. Pol Capdevila: pol.capdevila@upf.edu

Scientific Committee:

  • Dr. Pol Capdevila, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • Dr. Jordi Ibáñez, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • Prof. Carles Sora, Universitat Pompeu Fabra


  • Main Partner: Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness FFI2012-32614 “Experiencia estética e investigación artística: aspectos cognitivos del arte contemporáneo”. Lead researcher Gerard Vilar, 2013-2015.
  • Department of Humanities, UPF
  • Institut Universitari de Cultura, UPF
  • Research grup DigiDoc, Communication Department, UPF. Part of the Project “Active Audiences and Journalism. Interactivity, Web Integration and Findability of Journalistic Information”. CSO2012-39518-C04-02. National Plan for R+D+i, Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. Lead researcher Lluís Codina.

Organising Committee:

Pol Capdevila (UPF)

David Moriente (UPF)

Jordi Ibáñez (UPF)

Carles Sora (UPF)

Gerard Vilar (UAB)