A Shard of the Origin Story

by @tyleretters


This post has an audio mirror in “To Realize a Commoner Earth”.

Back in 2010 or so, a friend sent me a link to the double helix of audio and text that is Adam Harper’s Hauntology post. It remains perhaps the single most influencial hyperlink ever sent my way. It changed my life in three ways.

First, it opened my mind to underexplored realms of communication. Harper writes, “Here you can listen to this blogpost as spoken word and together with the musical examples (this doesn’t include the areas about visual art).” It remains one of my most inspiring examples of multimedia communications ever.

Second, aside from the brilliance of the production value, the content was a revelation. My music had always verged on hauntological, but I didn’t yet know it. Suddenly, my art was validated and I was inspired to continue developing my practice. I was working in a tradition of sorts. Other people were feeling the same things I was feeling. It is quite possible I would have given up had I not found this post. One of the key points from Art & Fear is learning how to “not give up.”

Finally, the post introduced me to Mark Fisher. If you know, you know. If you don’t know, please explore his work. I could never do him justice with a pithy summary here.

So, in the spirit of community, of not giving up, of optimism, and of curiousity: Coordinated Universal Time is a podcast created by myself and several other artists, writers, musicians, researchers, and similar internet folk.

I’m presently armed with a field recorder on the shore of the Fox River in northern Illinois. Our intial idea was charged: what would a podcast sound like if it were scored by the Radiophonic Workshop, produced by Mark Fisher, directed by David Lynch, mixed by Wintermute, and hosted by the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey? What type of ideas might emerge if we invited people from all different places (and times) of the world to participate? What new ideas could we expose each other to through this medium? What if it was part sonic collage, part hauntological lunar punk zine, part DJ mix fever dream, part academic forum, part vox populi, part wierd fungus glowing in the moonlight? Is it possible to sculpt such a podcast with a full-wholehearted acceptance of all pretentiousness? Can we gleefully poke fun at ourselves? Can we perhaps even create something beautiful? An on demand, liminal non-space you can access everywhere? Welp. let’s find out. If you have any feedback or ideas please @ us. There’s also a whole bunch of the usual platforms we’re on. It is apodcastfornow everywhere.

I’ll close with a reading from Wikipedia: The official abbreviation for Coordinated Universal Time is UTC. This abbreviation arose from a desire by the International Telecommunication Union and the International Astronomical Union to use the same abbreviation in all languages. English speakers originally proposed CUT (for “coordinated universal time”), while French speakers proposed TUC (for “temps universel coordonné”). The compromise that emerged was UTC, which conforms to the pattern for the abbreviations of the variants of Universal Time (UT0, UT1, UT2, UT1R, etc.).

Welcome to Coordinated Universal Time.