Untimely Meditation: Nietzsche et cetera


  • Arno Böhler University of Vienna


untimely thinking, Nietzsche, Derrida, philosophy, artistic research, arts-based philosophy, Philosophy On Stage,


The following lecture performance was a part of the research festival Philosophy On Stage#4 at Tanzquartier Wien, where new relations between philosophy and the arts were tested and put into practice. 

The lecture starts with the claim that philosophical thinking necessarily performs the temporality of the untimely as a mode of being-in-time, which realises a revolt of time against its times in favour of a time to come. Being neither part of the past nor of eternity, the temporality of the untimely calls future events into being.

Insofar as philosophy shares the temporality of the untimely with the arts, the lecture-performance defines arts-based philosophy––the alliance of art and philosophy, by which philosophy has started to implement artistic practices into philosophy––as a field for the appearance of the untimely. 

As Jacques Derrida has shown in Politics of Friendship, the proposition “Alas! if only you knew how soon, how very soon, things will be – different! –”, characterises precisely the aporetic principle of a democracy of the future, grounded in the temporality of the untimely. The genitive ‘of’ thereby indicates a mode of democracy which does only exist as long as it keeps itself open towards its own changeability and eventfulness. Therefore it necessarily takes place as the prelude of a future one is able to affirm full heartedly in advance, that is to say, over and over again. 

A mode of being-in-time that touches the secret of Nietzsche’s most abysmal thought: the thought of the eternal return of the same, in which somebody has realized the never ending eternity loops of be-coming; a life of immanence; a recurring movement of eternity within itself.

Author Biography

Arno Böhler, University of Vienna

Arno Böhler is an associate Professor at the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Vienna. He is the founder of the performance festival Philosophy on Stage and currently heads the „Artist-Philosophers: Philosophy AS Arts-based-Research“ research project at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): AR275-G21. He is the co-founder of BASE (research centre for artistic research and arts-based philosophy, India) and the director of the residence programme there.

Research visits at the University of Bangalore, the University of Heidelberg, at New York University and Princeton University. Invitations to visiting professorships at the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Vienna, at the University of the Arts Bremen, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (Max Reinhardt Seminar) and at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. In 1997, together with actress Susanne Valerie Granzer, founder of wiener kulturwerkstätte GRENZ-film.


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Böhler, Arno, and Granzer, Susanne Valerie. 2013. “Corpus delicti. Körper, ein Ort des Verbrechens.“ In Korporale Performanz. Zur bedeutungsgenerierenden Dimension des Leibes, edited by Arno Böhler, Christian Herzog and Alice Pechriggl, 151-267. Bielefeld: transcript.

Böhler, Arno, and Manning, Erin. 2014. „Interview: Do we know what a body can do? #1“In Wissen wir, was ein Körper vermag? Rhizomatische Körper in Religion, Kunst, Philosophie, edited by Arno Böhler, Susanne Valerie Granzer and Krassimira Kruschkova, 11-21. Bielefeld: transcript.

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How to Cite

“Untimely Meditation: Nietzsche Et Cetera”. 2017. Performance Philosophy 3 (3): 631-49. https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2017.33178.

How to Cite

“Untimely Meditation: Nietzsche Et Cetera”. 2017. Performance Philosophy 3 (3): 631-49. https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2017.33178.