1. The most immediately noticed element of the video is the use of sound, or more specifically the lack thereof. Throughout the entire video, the only sound present is the voice of Joan Gardy-Artigas and any ambient noise that he makes, or that comes naturally occurring based on the setting. Then, the camera angles; though the focus is primarily on Joan Gardy-Artigas himself, he’s usually framed in front of large or open spaces, whether outside, in front of the farmhouse, in one of its larger rooms, or in front of a window.
The past is only mentioned in passing, when discussing anecdotes or his career as an artist and ceramicist. Together, his narration describing his past and present, and the footage of his home, almost create a snapshot moment of Gardy-Artigas’s life. Not only is it a kind of biographical record of an individual’s life, but an emphasis of focus on the present. The past is invoked gently and modestly when necessary, but not focused or lingered upon. Even concerning work and career, the video almost seems to suggest indifference for the more undesirable aspects—finances, schedule, consumption of free time—and instead places emphasis on the here and now, the relaxing half of life. That is the utopian impulse behind the video. Acceptance of the past but not regular concern for it, and a focus on the present as it becomes the future.
2. Two comments come to mind regarding temporal aspects of 2312.
The first is the inclusion of the extracts. They come usually one between each chapter, and each is usually somewhere between one to three pages long. As mentioned, these appear to be, essentially, quotations ripped from sources written within the narrative world of 2312, whether they’re transcriptions of audio sources or excerpts of text.
The extracts serve two interesting purposes: worldbuilding and exposition. Not only do they offer insights into Kim Stanley Robinson’s imagined future and the science that may power it (which are nice to know just because), they usually introduce bits of relevant information that the reader will need to know for the very next chapter. In both cases, an additional third effect is achieved; a timeline, which the narrative itself later offers a cross-section of in real-time.
The second aspect is the seeming incoherence of 2312 as it progresses through the narrative. As mentioned in the lecture, time is often sped and slowed in narration between events, but just how much so becomes almost disorienting as the narrative continues. Thirty-five pages are devoted to twenty-four days spent walking beneath the surface of Mercury, while later, in the most recent section of reading, it’s revealed that another sixty-five are spent recounting events that transpired over a year. A truly striking amount of 2312 is spent in pure narration, description of events without actual illustration of their occurrence or passing, with portions in between zooming in on specific moments.