Throughout Oceanic Horror a recurring interest has been the relation of theories of the event, to the genre of horror, the notion of tempor(e)ality, finance economy and a time-based artistic practice. I have always been involved with notions of the political event in my work and in this research project the questioning of the qualities of such a possible event proved pertinent.

In the following notes I try to give an outline of some of my reflective travels through ideas of the political event and how it came to centre around a notion of the quasi-event, which I consequently found the need to reformulate into ‘the prolonged now’.

Firstly, I lay out some newer positions on the political event, leaning on Ian MacKenzie’s paper ‘What is a Political Event?’ (2008) Through MacKenzie’s writing I present different perspectives on the event from philosophers Donald Davidson, Paul Ricoeur, Alain Badiou and Gilles Deleuze, ultimately focusing on a comparison between Badiou’s and Deleuze’s ideas on this. Here I argue for Deleuze’s ideas on the event as something that occur when we are least aware of them - where meaning enters the world behind our backs - and how this line of thinking relates to my own ideas of a certain time quality to both the horror genre and my own artistic practice working with temporalities that stretch, becomes layered or entangles with surrounding temporalities. In this section, I also argue, again in relation to the work of Ian MacKenzie, that contemporary art can produce political events, as something that attempts, in creative experiments, to represent the ‘real’ or ‘events’ as counter-actualisations.

From Deleuze’s perspective of the political event, as something perhaps always happening a priori, I move on to explore the possibility of imagining an ‘almost’ event, that could still function as a certain (political) point around which an art practice can revolve. Here the notion of the ‘quasi-event’, as described by Elizabeth A. Povinelli enters. I describe how Povinelli frames this notion and how it not only resonates with my artistic practice but really has informed my reflective process.  Where Povinelli’s idea of the quasi-event is closely related to socially engaging projects, I attempt to rethink the quasi-event as something not only describing the slow corrosive tear of small occurrences acting as slow violence on a the every day life of an exploited subject, but also as something more fluid that take shape in the undercurrent beneath a grinding machine of cynical optimism and a religion of progress. Here the quasi-event is proposed as something taking on another temporal form; a mangling of time; a time out of joint. Slowness substituted with anachronism; the herish and nowish of the quasi-event substituted with the prolonged now. From these observations I terminate at the need to develop an own reformulation of the quasi-event, to follow me through my reflections and artistic processes, leading towards the notion of ‘oceanic horror’. I label this reformulation ‘Prolonged Now’.

 In another note I reflect upon the role of the evental in the process of producing a film work. I describe the ritualistic qualities of a film set and through the writing of Pascal Gielen on the notion of autosymbolisation and Erving Goffman’s ideas of ‘keying’ as strategies for moving from one frame of reference to an other during an event. Through the idea of autosymbolisation I describe some of the ways that the more philosophical thinking around the evental seeps into the very production of an art work.

Another note touches briefly on the idea of extimacy, used by Povinelli to describe the way in which bodies are affected or can affect other in the processes of slow violence or slow harm. She stresses that this estimate relationship is hierarchically determined. I emphasise this relation in a way to remind us about the (political and temporal) messiness of the extimacy (or entanglement) discourse. I go on to challenge the way that this discourse is often used by artist as a certain generator of works, sometimes glossing over the political and hierarchical reality of such entanglement processes, to finally propose that the unnatural split between the entanglement discourse and practices engaged with socio-political structures, activism, social projects, class struggle, community work, etc. should be questioned.

Finally, I reflect upon the transrealist documentary ‘Anhell69’ by Colombian film director Theo Montoya and how this work shares many qualities with the artistic research of Oceanic Horror, not only in its way of merging political reality with the horror fiction genre but really in its relation to time and to the idea of the now. Here I emphasise the different quality of Montoya’s and my own premise for working within these topics, yet highlighting how the two practices still share a resistance to the nihilist or defeatist relationship to the future; an emphasis on the now; an acceptance of horror as destructive and generative in one and the same motion; and an insistence on the emotional, the atmospheric and the social to allow for new liminal spaces of transformation and common countering.