From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Time–space compression (also known as space–time compression and time–space distanciation) is a Marxist idea referring to the altering of the qualities of space–time and the relationship between space and time that is a consequence of the expansion of capital. It is rooted in Karl Marx's theory of the "annihilation of space by time" originally elaborated in the Grundrisse, and was later articulated by Marxist geographer David Harvey in his book The Condition of Postmodernity.
Time–space compression occurs as a result of technological innovations driven by the global expansion of capital that condense or elide spatial and temporal distances, including technologies of communication (telegraph, telephones, fax machines, Internet) and travel (rail, cars, trains, jets), driven by the need to overcome spatial barriers, open up new markets, speed up production cycles, and reduce the turnover time of capital.
According to Paul Virilio, time-space compression is an essential facet of capitalist life, saying that "we are entering a space which is speed-space ... This new other time is that of electronic transmission, of high-tech machines, and therefore, man is present in this sort of time, not via his physical presence, but via programming" (qtd. in Chris Dercon 71). In Speed and Politics, Virilio coined the term dromology to describe the study of "speed-space". Virilio describes velocity as the hidden factor in wealth and power, where historical eras and political events are effectively speed-ratios. In his view, acceleration destroys space and compresses time in ways of perceiving reality.
Accelerationism, Creative destruction, David Harvey, International communication, Mario Costa (philosopher), Non-simultaneity, Outline of globalization, Space compression, Space, Uneven and combined development