This book addresses the absence of a strong alignment with the future in contemporary social life and explores anomalous temporal experience as a way to expand political imaginations. In the aftermath of the modern myth of progress, it argues we have entered into a kind of dystopia—brutal or seemingly benign—of the continual present that is resistant to systemic change but is nevertheless animated through cycles of novelty and obsolescence. Exploring a condition in which we are out of ideas and facing a ‘non-future’ of blind technical improvement and fear, the author examines the heterochronia of eerie atmospheres and temporal suspensions. Rather than a reinstatement of the great dream of The Future, a temporality of possibility is explored in strange dimensions of otherwise mundane sites: logistic spaces and ex-urban landscapes; boredom connected to digital media; and the material culture of a recently abandoned town. Drawing on contemporary social and cultural theory, as well as urban geography and media studies, the book develops its conceptual position through a series of vignettes of key sites and experiences. Through an elliptical and generative approach, it analyses zones where novelty collapses and where figures of defiance and possibility might emerge. A rigorous theoretical examination of contemporary life and culture grounded in a close examination of sites and material examples, Temporal Politics and Banal Culture: Before the Future will appeal to scholars of social theory, sociology, cultural geography, cultural studies and social philosophy.

chapter |34 pages


chapter 1|25 pages

Into logistic grey zones

chapter 2|21 pages

Obsolete wastes of time

Boredom by way of alien junk consciousness

chapter 3|18 pages

The enigma of Kitsault