On Time

Two new commissions in partnership with the Institute for Advanced Studies' 20/21 'Time' theme.

On Time

(Photo credit: Letters received as part of What is (the) Time? (c) Paula Morison)


(Photo credit: Still from 'An Hour' online performance, November 2020 (c) Alison Ballard & Martin Lewis)

On Time consisted of two new commissions from Radar in partnership with the Institute of Advanced Studies' Time theme for the academic year 2020/21. 

Time is often understood as a neutral backdrop for events. Consistent, steady, reliable: it is the marker of history’s turbulence, the measure of work, and a fundamental building block of our society. While that which time makes possible—change, hope, fear, possibility, futurity and risk—are anything but knowable, the properties of time itself seem self-evident.

Yet behind time’s seemingly obvious nature lies mystery, disagreement and struggle. Philosophers ask whether time exists outside our experience of it. Physicists argue over its relationship to space. Revolutionaries shoot the clocks and instigate new calendars. Artists make it a fundamental medium of their work rather than the unstated background to it. Time is anything but a given.

The two works commissioned as part of On Time estrange us from time's background status by forcing us to pay attention to it. Alison Ballard and Martin Lewis' An Hour, an online event which took place in November 2020, consisted of performers attempting to count minutes for an hour. Paula Morison's What is (the) Time?, commissioned with Eastside Projects' Extra-Ordinary People, sees the artist send letters asking people 'what is the time?', and builds an archive from their replies.

Produced by David Bell for Radar.


Paula Morison

What (is) the Time? Read more

Alison Ballard & Martin Lewis

An Hour Read more

Project Partners

Institute of Advanced Studies Time Programme

Read more

Extra Ordinary People

Read more


An Hour

Fri 27 November - Fri 27 November - 2020

12:45pm - 14:15pm

A durational online performance. Join us as a participant or audience member. Read more

Writing the Time, with Paula Morison and Correspondents

Fri 9 July - Fri 9 July - 2021

14:00pm - 15:30pm

An event exploring Paula Morison's mail art project 'What is (the) time?'. Read more