Seeing, Feeling, and Hearing Time. Extensions of Representation Between Diagrams and Figures

Elena Ippoliti


This essay proposes reflections on the figural and diagrammatic extent of representation, adopting for the purpose a particular ‘object’, i.e. time and temporality. This ‘object’ cannot be detected by our senses, but we ‘feel’ it so convincingly that we imagine a space in which things and events are immersed in time, in its flowing. It drags on to the future according to a temporality that can be regulated by the rigour of the principle of causality, or the probable relationship between beginning and end, or it advances only to return inexorably and cyclically back to itself. This essay therefore serves as an opportunity to progress along some of the many paths of representation and to observe and verify some possible extensions, reflecting on certain evidence from reasoning, different ‘excellent’ representations, or even teaching experiences. While only partial, these reflections aim to underline how a representation always and contextually acts according to two the registers of diagram and figure. According to these acceptations therefore, a representation is not only a ‘machine for presenting’ but also a ‘machine for thinking’ and what is more, a ‘machine for imagining’.


representation; time; diagram; figure

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