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‘But my mind was too confused … so with a kind of madness growing upon me, I flung myself into futurity … What strange developments of humanity, what wonderful advances upon our rudimentary civilization, I thought, might not appear when I came to look into the dim elusive world that raced and fluctuated before my eyes. I saw great and splendid architecture rising about me, more massive than any buildings of our own time, and yet, it seemed, built of glimmer and mist … the earth seemed very fair. And so my mind came round to the business of stopping.’
So The Time Traveller in H.G. Wells’s novella The Time Machine recounts his experience of temporal speed — as the fluctuation of landscape. In Wells’s often relentless fascination with the possibilities of ‘progress’, future time is made real as architecture, and as the eradication of landscape and its replacement by the ever larger and more complex reshaping of the material environment.
Graham, C: Motionless monotony: new nowheres in Irish photography. In/Print, 1, 2012.