Collated by Maja Kuzmanović & Nik Gaffney

An impressionistic collage on timelessness, time unbinding, and the experience of being outside time. Excerpts from fiction and non-fiction books capable of temporal hole-punching. Read or listened to during periods of rest and recovery. Photos by the authors.

Timelessness. The vanishing moment, the perpetual moment. Seeing things not as things, but as instances of materials unstitched from time. Fragments of memories, emotions, lives and landscapes stretched over a thin surface of reality. The skin, the skein, a string of moments in fields of infinities. Nostalgia destroyed by collapsing time, by expanding time, by enveloping moments with themselves. Unwrap, unravel, unfold. Each starting point is a point of departure.

The gap between past and future: the nunc stans ... timeless region, an eternal presence in complete quiet, lying beyond human clocks and calendars altogether, the quiet of the Now in the time-pressed, time-tossed existence of man ... this small non-time space is the very heart of time.

Hannah Arendt

Time and Space are Adverbs.

Aleister Crowley



Imagine a universe entirely without structure, without shape, without connections. A cloud of microscopic events, like fragments of space-time … except that there is no space or time. What characterizes one point in space, for one instant? Just the values of the fundamental particle fields, just a handful of numbers. Now, take away all notions of position, arrangement, order, and what’s left? A cloud of random numbers.

Greg Egan

Time has broken a little bit all around us.

Nick Harkaway

Time could crawl, it could fly, it could amble. Time was a slippery thing.

Becky Chambers

The passage is taken; the maze builds. Side-rifts curl off. Direction is difficult to keep. Space is behaving strangely – and so too is time. Time moves differently here in the underland. It thickens, pools, flows, rushes, slows.

Robert Macfarlane

This impression is a glimpse not of timelessness but timefulness, an acute consciousness of how the world is made by – indeed, made of – time.

Marcia Bjornerud

If you can sit quietly for a while, all time – ten thousand ages, a thousand lifetimes – is penetrated from this. All phenomena revert to stillness.

Lü, Tung-pin

A grape seed in infinite space. A half twist of a corkscrew against eternity.

Marcus Aurelius

Time did not so much elapse as grow less relevant.

Thomas Pynchon

That was the interregnum, in fact, the naked moment before the next exfoliation of habits, the time when one wandered doing things randomly. The time without skin, the raw data, the being-in-the-world.

Kim Stanley Robinson

We are the universe watching itself, watching and learning.

Christopher Paolini

They share a lot, astronomy and childhood. Both are voyages across huge distances. Both search for facts beyond their grasp. Both theorize wildly and let possibilities multiply without limits. Both are humbled every few weeks. Both operate out of ignorance. Both are mystified by time. Both are forever starting out.

Richard Powers

It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

You must dwell, says Garden, within time to shift it in lasting ways; play a slow game, but win.

Amal El-Mohtar

And then it was ringing midnight, and they were in the Martian time slip, the thirty-nine-and-a-half-minute gap between 12:00:00 and 12:00:01, when all the clocks went blank or stopped moving. […] Every night to step for a while out of the flicking numbers, out of the remorseless sweep of the second hand—And tonight as the bells rang midnight, the whole city went mad. Almost forty minutes outside of time; it was bound to be the peak of the celebration, everyone knew that instinctively. Fireworks were going off, people were cheering; sirens tore through the sound, and the cheering redoubled.

Kim Stanley Robinson

We weren't made with endless time between our fingers like noodles we can stretch as much as we see fit. Even the most resilient noodles break at some point. It is the most ordinary and the most profound thing in the world. [...] We pour a bit of ourselves into everything we do, every note we play and, unwittingly, one fragment at a time, we leave ourselves in the past.

An Yu

But now and then comes an hour when the silence is all but absolute, and listening to it one slips out of time. Such a silence is not a mere negation of sound. It is like a new element, and the world is suspended there, and I in it...

Nan Shepherd

You can go home again, the General Temporal Theory asserts, so long as you understand that home is a place where you have never been.

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed