It’s weird to see how through the ages people have been intrigued by time. Very probably in the beginning there was mainly a ‘light’ / ‘dark’ division, but as soon as people found out about the constant aspect of time they tried to live accordingly. It was all about cycles and what they mean…
But as an appointment at 9 PM wasn’t visible on a sundial and after years of research travelling through time seemed (and still seems) impossible, men has come to the point that time is accepted “as is”. Which meant that it was time to give quite an abstract concept a steady place in their lives. This perspective caused men to be obsessed with time. Everything has to be done “in time”, the delivery has to be “on time” and an undecided game (‘who cares’) goes into “overtime”. People are obsessed, resulting in situations where there is a thin line between ‘deadline’ and ‘flatline’.
Mike: Here we are, baby. Ready for action, ready for fun, ready for love, and [checks his watch] it’s only just gone one.
Helen: Is that the time?
Mike: No, time is an abstract concept. This is a wristwatch.
(The Young Ones, episode “Time”, June 5th 1984)
Phil Von worked on “Deadline Now” for a year, in collaboration with the theatre company Persona from Portugal. It resulted in “a contemporary sad tale, the story of people existing in one of our modern metropolis during 36 hours” (source: website). The change in the perspective of time through recent technological development triggered this piece. How the strongly enabled connectivity triggered the pressure on deadlines… Or should it be said that ‘Time accelerated through connectivity’?
This is what “Dealine Now” is all about. A changed perspective on time from a social point of view, musically brilliantly shaped by Phil Von. A solid pace of 120 bpm which is put in and out of its perspective and emphasys, causing a mindbending view on time. The sound of cellphones where you don’t expect them… Yes, it’s something we all know but, within this perspective, it gets scary.
We have started the countdown to extinction and this is the proof. And the second meaning of the word ‘dealine’ underlines this…
dead·line [ded-lahyn] -noun
1. the time by which something must be finished or submitted; the latest time for finishing something: a five o’clock deadline.
2. a line or limit that must not be passed.
3. (formerly) a boundary around a military prison beyond which a prisoner could not venture without risk of being shot by the guards
CD, Thisco, 2006
— Bauke van der Wal