Part three: Time
We don’t have time for this!
Time is the number one barrier to participation in The Hologram project, with good reason: we guard our time against anything that could chip away at the hours and energy we are made to dedicate to work, pleasure or survival. Under capitalism, time has become the most valuable commodity we have, outside of our body. As capitalism becomes more and more punishing and demanding, we have less and less time to imagine a different future. We’ve even heard people say that the ability to “imagine” something outside of work and survival is a “privilege.” But as we’ve already seen, capitalism is, among other things, a brilliant technology of weaponized avoidance. For our purposes, it helps us avoid at least three basic truths: 1. Humans are fundamentally cooperative and interdependent 2. We live on land and are part of that land 3. We will die
What would it mean to live without forgetting these truths? Our time would be very different. If we focused on learning how to cooperate without coercion we would have to reorganize what we produce, how we produce it, and why. If we acknowledged that we lived on land, and that land was alive, and we are a part of it, we would laugh at the absurdity of the concept of private property. If we lived our whole lives embracing the knowledge that we will die, we would better consider future generations as we made decisions. We might spend our whole lives carefully considering our uses of materials and time, knowing that our collective material and social traces produce the next generations’ world. We would recognize that the now-dead once did so for our benefit. We would know that, when we die, we become each others’ soil. If we remembered and believed these three truths, how would we spend our time? What would our relationships look like? Where would we live and how? What would be our “work” and how would we be valued?
How and why The Hologram wastes your time
The Hologram aims to train us to create and live in a post-capitalist future, when work (as in labour exploited for a wage) is abolished. We will still need to cooperate, but in new ways, motivated by the above truths, not the need for someone else to profit and for us all to compete. When liberated from being confined to a “job,” how would we express and share our passions, skills, powers and dreams? In post-capitalism, we will all contribute our time and energy, but likely in very different ways. Today, for many of the readers of this text, participation in the Hologram feels like an impossible time commitment in an already over-busy life, but this is exactly why you should try it. It is a practice for liberating time, though it also takes time. It does so for participants at all stages. The following walks you through three phases of one’s participation to explain.
You are the hologram
We suggest that you who are reading this begin participating in The Hologram by inviting three people to act as your Triangle. You, the Hologram, facilitates a conversation where your group decides who should play what role (who is in charge of asking about and holding social, mental/emotional, and physical health information). Next you decide together how long this experiment will last. When will you meet, and for how long?
Sample plan: You may meet on the first Wednesday of every third month, or on the day after the seasons change four times per year. You may start with a one year commitment to this process, or something else. Perhaps you meet for two hours each session. This seems possible, right?
Consider what this would do to your sense of time. The Hologram is an impractical and life-giving social planning technology. How far in the future are you able to imagine right now? What in your life will be in place in three months, in six months, in two years? It may be scary to look into the future. If it isn’t, you may be delusional. In such an unpredictable time, it is hard to know what will remain of our current lives in the future. But if we don’t begin to construct some ideas and practices that will shape our future in ways that serve us, then tech corporations, banks, right wing governments and other anti-social saboteurs will have a complete run of it. The Hologram model asks us to put a formal agreement together with people in our community that will extend, outlandishly, into the future. Beyond the multiple overlapping crises that we will face, we can make commitments that structure our future selves and give us a sense of belonging no matter where we are. Making a decade-long plan with your friends seems like heresy while we work daily to survive a deranged and predatory economy, alone and alienated, unable to prepare for the next crisis. This is exactly why you may want to commit to spending a few years with The Hologram, with your triangle.
You care for your caretakers
Being cared for, and being a hologram is never a one-way street. In order to receive care from other people, it is crucial that you help ensure that those people are cared for. It is not optional, it is required. So, in one of your early meetings you, the hologram, must help your triangle consider the timeline in which they will become holograms and develop their own triangles of support.
Sample plan: During your second Hologram meeting, the hologram proposes that each of the members of her triangle begin to invite three people to be their triangle/supports, to make themselves a hologram. It is agreed upon that this will take place before the next meeting. You talk together about what would make for a good triangle member.
As a practicing hologram, you have created and fulfilled a role for yourself that does not yet exist in our society. In this post-capitalist “job”, in being vulnerable and open to receiving care, you are the expert and the teacher. No one knows more than you about what makes you healthy. Just like starting a new job, you have to create a workspace that is appropriate for the work you need to do. So, it is your job to arrange and coordinate the triangle. Under capitalism, this kind of work is not valued. We value it in The Hologram.
If time is money, then being the hologram, or participating in a Hologram, is like burning money. It’s a sacrifice that reveals your divestment from the accelerationist value system. Through the sacrifice we become different animals that can survive and see beyond the current economic landscape. If we use this collective work as an excuse to disentangle from capitalism’s way of valuing our time, and valuing us, we may begin to see what we are or what we could become without it. How would you identify yourself if you never had to have a “job” again? What would you do all day if you didn’t need to “work” in order to live? How would you value your time if it was disconnected from money? How would you cooperate and contribute if you could do so in the way and in the conditions you chose? What would your role be in the post-work, post-capital future? What would a satisfying day look like?
You become triangular
When the three members of your triangle each have transitioned to holograms with their own triangle supporting them, it is your chance to transform into a caretaker within someone else’s Hologram. This is the pinnacle of The Hologram project. Sample plan: in your third meeting, you, as hologram, inquire if the three members of your triangle have established themselves as holograms. If so, you can ask for their help to become a member of a triangle for a new Hologram. Maybe the new hologram is a co-worker or friend you’ve told about the project, somebody who understand the point of the project is solidarity, not charity. As a future member, you shouldn’t organize a new hologram’s triangle for them, but you can help and offer suggestions. It is important that each hologram take the initiative and responsibility to organize their Hologram and triangle.
Questions for consideration
A. In the world we want to create, how will we value our time? Do we measure it? Do we even know it is there? What would we do all the time? How will we value ourselves and each other? B. What will your post-capitalist “job” be?
Write, walk, think, or draw as you imagine 10 years in the future. If that is overwhelming, here are some questions to help you distill your thoughts.
- What do you know about yourself and your situation at that time?
- What do you not know about yourself and your situation at that time?
- What do you look forward to taking place between now and then?
- What do you fear may take place between now and then?
- What can you plan?
- What will make you feel prepared to handle what is coming?
- What do you wish for yourself?
- Why? What’s underneath that desire?
- What do you wish for you and for everyone?
- How can you be best prepared to make that possible?
Please do not avoid the global, political, and environmental situation, and your connection to community and society in your thoughts
How did you stay together with your Triangle for 10 years? Write, walk, think, or draw as you imagine 10 years in the future as a Hologram. If that is overwhelming, here are some questions to help you distill your thoughts.
Imagine that you found three people to be in your Hologram, and that you stayed together for 10 years. They each had their own Hologram. You were also part of someone else’s Triangle, maybe two people’s. There is a sense of trust between people, but also something more specific. These are new kinds of relationships that are formal, sustainable and warm. You feel like you are part of something that is different than your previous experiences of family, friendships, work relations, social movements, or professional caretakers. When you are caring for your Hologram, you feel like you are part of something larger.
- How did you stay together with your Triangle for 10 years?
- What skills did you personally develop to make this possible?
- What are the benefits, to you, of having been in this group for so long?
- What are the challenges you already faced together with your triangle?
- What kinds of processes did you have to develop, and skills did the group have to learn, in order to do this?
- How does it feel to imagine having this role in the Hologram, versus not having it?