Broadcast: 7-8pm, Thursday 26th November.
The speakers were Daniel Marrone and Russell Martin.
Daniel led the discussion:
Procrastination derives, most essentially, from the concept of the future, the understanding of time as a linear progression. Cras, in Latin, means tomorrow (crastinus is “belonging to tomorrow”). To procrastinate is to place something in the category of things that belong to tomorrow – that is to say, to defer.
The current negative connotations of procrastination are rooted in a Protestant/capitalist ethic (famously discussed by Max Weber) and the standardization of clock-time in the Industrial Revolution. Value is ascribed to a regimented use of time, a particular kind of productivity. In capitalist society, value is precisely what is being produced by labour (alienated labour, to use Marxist terminology). As the deferral of labour, procrastination is understood as the deferral of value, from both an economic and moral standpoint.
There is an existing body of empirical scholarship, much of it quite precise, but it demonstrates little interest in historical developments or awareness of the capitalist position from which it is operating. Procrastination is not theorised so much as diagnosed, and the tendency of even the most progressive researchers is to view it as an affliction in itself rather than a symptom.
Procrastination is a mediation of time and value: returning to Marxist language, it may be conceived as an outgrowth of alienation. Indeed, procrastination, in its disruption of time-value relations, can actually be considered a praxis that produces a time outside of capitalist time.
The show was hosted by Seph Rodney.
Originally from Toronto, Daniel Marrone is pursuing a PhD in Humanities and Cultural Studies at the London Consortium. He also writes book reviews for Broken Pencil, Canada’s foremost magazine of zine culture and the independent arts.
Russell Martin moved to London in 1998 after finishing his studies at Glasgow School of Art. Recent projects have included Way East, an artist-led gallery space in Martin’s east London home and a year-long artist residency at studio1.1 gallery. Currently, Martin is working on Analogue, a dialogue project commissioned by Craftspace for the Taking Time exhibition and Portable Radio, a touring podcasting project supported by Arts Council England. Full information on past and current projects can be found on his website.