Percepts, affects, clinamen: Alienation and entanglement in What Time Is It There? (2001)

Carmen Xi Li

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


This article takes as its starting point an uncanny dialectics of alienation, desire and connection that permeates Tsai Ming-liang’s oeuvre. Through approaching the non-intersecting parallel narratives in What Time Is It There? (2001) with the Epicurean and Lucretian notion of clinamen and the Deleuzian concepts of any-space-whatevers, percepts and affects, this article explores the relation between non-intersecting parallel spaces and times and a liminal, spectral cinematic space and time that is created by moving images themselves, which makes the dialectics of alienation and connection possible. This article argues that What Time involves Tsai’s meta-cinematic approach to cinema’s potentiality that enables both characters and spectators to engage directly with moving images and reimagine the world through its spectrality and non-human perception.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-167
Number of pages13
JournalAustralasian Journal of Popular Culture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

User-Defined Keywords

  • absence
  • Deleuze
  • meta-cinema
  • out-of-field
  • parallel narratives
  • time-image
  • Tsai Ming-liang


Dive into the research topics of 'Percepts, affects, clinamen: Alienation and entanglement in What Time Is It There? (2001)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this