Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mapping Time

I’m fascinated by the relationship between texts and time, so it was a thrill to receive recently a copy of Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010), in which Daniel Rosenberg and Anthony Grafton provide “a short account of how modern forms of chronological representation emerged and how they embedded themselves in the modern imagination” (23). Although the timeline did not appear until modernity, “to clearly communicate the uniformity, directionality, and irreversibility of historical time” (19), this form of temporal representation is now “one of the central organizing structures of the contemporary user interface” (246).