The aesthetics of contemporary art have long been governed by what may be called a performative paradigm, valuing the immediacy of co-presence, the effectiveness of action by contact, or the spectator’s embodied engagement in various forms. Being simultaneous with the event of art itself, however, may well imply the interruption or severance of proximal communication in favour of a rigorous discipline of action at a distance. Under this new paradigm, performative concepts may retain a meaning, but only on the premise that the action is happening elsewhere as we speak — not because it is inherently invisible or immaterial (in the manner of conceptual art), not because it belongs to some other dimension or scale of experience (beneath or beyond the human threshold, in the manner of “object-oriented” art), but simply because it is either too late, or too early, or too far, to allow for any direct participation. Left to itself, the artwork turns into a dark crystal of faceted simultaneity. In the most compelling cases, what is being proposed is an “experiment with time” of a very peculiar type: an insight into the floating — rather than flowing — nature of the temporal medium. That is the philosophical conjecture I wish to examine, based on a personal selection of relevant artworks.