[November 4 2020]
Olivier Zahm discusses the compression of time and decades disintegrating in conversation with Ezra Petronio for Self-Service Magazine Issue 53.
EZRA PETRONIO — When did you launch your first issue?
OLIVIER ZAHM — September 1992. And we are in September 2020—it was 28 years ago.
EZRA PETRONIO — If you look back at these past 28 years, how would you define the evolution and the moments that impacted change in the past three decades?
OLIVIER ZAHM — I really like this idea of decades. For my generation, the decade was the program. Today there are no decades anymore. There’s an acceleration of time, and we are living in a period of no time. There’s a lot of panic in our civilization, where time has been compressed into the moment, and the moment doesn’t lead to another moment. This is the definition of insecurity, confusion, and chaos. Time has become really chaotic so no one has perspective. There’s just survival and thinking of what’s next, what’s next, what’s next, what are we doing. And the best that you can hear people saying is that we’re in a transitional phase. That’s the positive way of approaching it. Or we’re in a crisis and chaos and apocalypse. Whatever it is, “time” has, in a way, collapsed. We used to have a perspective on each decade. Each decade had a certain texture, sound, and visual characteristic, and each decade was a sort of moment of redesigning and reshaping the moment.