5. 2012/13 Synchronization—the Production of the PresentThe concern with the singularity in space fosters the complementary question of the singularity in time—this is the event—and more precisely of the coordination of events, after synchronization. In order for action to occur in mixed ensembles at all, the involved actors have necessarily to refer to each other in a temporal respect: there is no way to avoid synchronization. The practices of television, like the program scheduling of image events and especially live broadcast, provide an illustrative starting point. Globally broadcast television events perform numerous synchronizations; they couple, first, the (external) event with the time of reception, second, the numerous times of reception among each other and, third, the time of broadcast with other (parallel) television events. Finally, television times are synchronized with datings of a different type.
However, television is not content to only provide these synchronizations, it represents and reflects them, renders them observable and makes them therefore the subject of recursive control. From this vantage point, other synchronization media come easily into sight, from regular time and radio-controlled clocks to the mobile phone. They have to be examined as agents of temporal coordination but especially as media for the visualization and representation of simultaneity. The motiveless and aimless, mobile phone based “flash mobs” might be an example for this; as real events, they are the communication and actualization of the synchronization potential between communication and real event.
The process of synchronization is also called “real-time”. This denotes the opening of a temporal window, in which information is distributed, prepared, eventually visualized and which in the process allows intervention in the communicated process. Communication and the communicated become indistinguishable in the frame of the real-time window. Even a few decades ago, these real-time windows were bound to singular locations, which were highly specialized media installations and strictly secretive like military operations centers or government headquarters. Now they tend to detach themselves from a specialized fixed infrastructure. Instead they turn into “shells”, in which the individual moves more and more. The modern media habitat can therefore not be understood as a mere category of location (of a spatially shaped milieu). Rather, it becomes effective as a category of action, which is determined by a particular space-time.