Panoptical Time

According to McClintock’s A Lay of the Land a panoptical time is “ the image of global history consumed – at a glance – in single spectacle from a point of privileged invisibility” To better hash out what panoptical means we will have to look at where it came from. Jeremy Bentham proposed the panopticon: which is a circular structure in which there is a tower placed in the center to be able to watch and observe the walls that encircled the tower. Hence you will be able to look at a single space in a whole at a second times glance. In her article in the section about panoptical time she uses the example of “The Family Group of Katarrhinen: Inventing the Family of Man.” It was a chart that showed how the different types of races actually evolved from a more primitive form of being. So using this chart it can be seen as a panoptical time because it shows the entire chronological history of human development at glance of viewing it.

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