edited by

Elizabeth Ellsworth + Jamie Kruse


Section 2: Shifts in the Material Conditions of Contemporary Life

What is the Exponential?[1]

Seth Denizen
Does the language of the exponential express a difference in kind or of degree?

The strange thing about these exponential curves, is that the farther along the curve one projects the present, the shorter the time interval between successive points, until time all but stops, in the midst of an immense acceleration. This is the point at which the curve challenges us to imagine a world defined not by a time, but by a speed: one which cannot be merely an extension of our own, a difference in degree, but rather something which takes on a difference in kind: another sea, another wind, another world at right angles to our own.


  1. From “Geopoetic Unconformities," paper presented at The Geologic Turn: Architecture’s Alliance[symposium], Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, February 10-11, 2012.