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Joe Magee Filmmaker

Is it wrong, or even a sin, to waste time in Bristol 2013? Is it a betrayal of a welfare society? Is it no-one’s business but your own?

joe

Biography

Joe Magee is an award-winning UK film-maker and artist. He trained at art school and established a practice encompassing a range of traditional and electronic media, especially moving image work – experimenting with film, animation, video and interactive art.

Project Description

The area within Bristol’s Temple Quarter has historically embodied the very concept of enterprise, exploding into life during the industrial revolution and helping to spearhead western industrial capitalism. The new equation ‘time equals money’ saturated men’s minds through moral propaganda as they worked to the rhythm of machines.

Joe Magee’s short film explores the concept of how we value time. Is it wrong, or even a sin, to waste time in Bristol 2013? Is it a betrayal of a welfare society? Or is it no-one’s business but your own how you choose to spend or value your time? And from where exactly does the moral influence originate, that drives on the wheels of capitalism?

” In their words… “

It is unfair for people going out to work early in the morning to see their neighbour’s blinds down because they are on benefits.
Chancellor George Osborne, Oct 2012

Bristol’s Temple Quarter area has always been an area of ‘enterprise’. It exploded into life during the industrial revolution – a hotbed of entrepreneurship, helping to spearhead western industrial capitalism. It was during this period that our ‘use’ and ‘abuse’ of time was re-classified in moral terms:

Puritanism, in its marriage of convenience with industrial capitalism, was the agent which converted men to new valuations of time; which taught children even in their infancy to improve each shining hour; and which saturated men’s minds with the equation, time is money.
EP THOMPSON, Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism, Dec 1967

Before this, people working in fields or cottage industries worked more in harmony with nature’s rhythms – sunrise, the cock crowing, the weather, the seasons, the tides etc.

Chancellor George Osborne’s attack on people who’s curtains might be drawn as others go to work branded this issue, once again, as one of ‘morality’. Similarly, Deputy prime Minister Nick Clegg described how he was on the side of ‘alarm-clock Britain’ – the ‘good’ people who have to “get up in the dark, get their children ready for school and then go out to work to get on in life.” The government purposely pits society against each other: We are either the morally right strivers, or the morally wrong shirkers.  For governments and those in society driven by capital, economics and enterprise shirkers are an active threat and a good source of moral panic.

One recurrent form of revolt within Western industrial capitalism, whether bohemian or beatnik, has often taken the form of flouting the urgency of respectable time-values.
EP THOMPSON, Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism, Dec 1967

It has long been become an accepted norm to criticize people for ‘wasting’ time. We know about sluggards, idlers, slackers, clock watchers, layabouts, and bums. But is it wrong, or even a sin, to waste time? Is it an exploitation of the welfare state? A betrayal of society? A betrayal of the self? Or is it no-one’s business but your own how you choose to spend or value your time?

Each Shining Hour is a short film that explores the idea of time valuation, including the exploration of political footballs such as drawn-curtains and Alarm Clock Britain, and conceptual and moral notions of what it is to waste time.