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This line in Shakespeare's Hamlet is just as true today, for we live in a world where our perception of time is disconnected.
Instead of considering the long-term problems such as climate change and ecological collapse, we focus on short-term mindsets and structures. While our minds might not be wired to deal with long-term threats and priorities, we are wired to control stories and emotions. Our fascination with stories, and the profound emotional nature of our decision-making, make art and culture key to ensuring our future as a species.
The Long Time Project supports art and culture as a way to help people think and act more long-term. This includes YouTube videos, adverts, art exhibitions, theatre, clothing and furniture.
All these art forms and creative works are shaped by culture - the collective values, norms and narratives that guide our societies. This culture informs the kinds of laws we make, the technology we develop and the way we distribute wealth.
Art can stretch our timefulness - the ability to put ourselves within eras and aeons rather than in weeks and months.
Deep time is about creating perspective and distinguishing between the short term timescales and the depth of cosmic timescales. It's meant to shift our perspective. Whether personal or societal, every problem can gain from long-term thinking.
Questions about the long-term future can feel distant and difficult for people to translate into action.
It's one thing to watch negative or positive views of the future, but another to know what it means to our own lives. Art and culture is a transformative and generative agent. It can help us experience the long view while providing reflective space to help us take action based on that understanding.
Acting in the interests of the long term will involve a radical change in the short term.
It will involve questioning the norm and doing things very differently.
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