Science Fiction Film & Television

Xenochrony: aural media and neoliberal time in Shane Carruth’s Primer

Science Fiction Film & Television (2015), 8, (3), 321–342.

Abstract

Shane Carruth’s time-tripping, paradox-filled debut film Primer (US 2004) evokes the affective conditions of neoliberal time not only through its characters’ precarious work life and dreams of get-rich-quick tech entrepreneurship but also through their invention of a time machine that they hope will change their fortunes and enable them to live the equivalent of a post-war, middle-class American dream. Throughout, Abe and Aaron’s use of the machine is juxtaposed with the use of aural media storage and playback technologies, which suggests a curious, ‘xenochronic’ timeclash at the junctures of sonic posthumanism, neoliberal subjectivity and vestigial post-war ideology.

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Young, Mark