Time and Distance

Time and Distance

We are used to measuring and marking distance with anything handy – foot, hand, thumb, stick, string – along with other secondary or abstracted references (like Marathon), displaying and understanding the inherently arbitrary assignment of length. It is true even for the exact measurements of science, where, for example, the definition of a meter is an agreed upon construct: the distance light travels in one second. We gauge time similarly, using many stand-ins to denote its passing, including distance. (This is a meaningful inverse, as cognitive science has discovered that we use the same mental machinery to process and represent these two concepts.)

The Time + Distance art installation presented here explores the ways we record and note the lapse of time. One familiar device is cycle, long used by humans to measure time by the recurrent movements of our solar system: the spin of Earth on its axis, Moon revolving around the Earth, Earth around the Sun. Other contrivances are repetition, distance/length, collection, accumulation, erosion, attrition, counting, growth, artifacts, movement, and the presence of absences.

Each of the four pieces demonstrates a primary device even as several others conflate and deepen the sense of elapse. Units are derived and explained.


MACHINE DRY        15 years, in dryer loads
2019
lint, rope, steel, plastic

[5-7 loads per lint piece x 3-4 loads per week x 52 weeks per year = 16,380 loads.] [16380 = 15 years; 1 lint piece = .00091575091575 years.]

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME
EXTREME FIRE RISK

 


 

ABACUS       254 weeks, in loaves of bread
2019
plastic, twine, wood, paint

[1fastener = 1 loaf of bread = 1 week. RATE:1 loaf/week]

 


 

TOTEM       ~ 10,897 minutes walking the streets of New Haven, in found hairbands
2019
steel, hairbands

[467 hairbands ÷ 3 hair bands per 70 minutes = 10,897 minutes.]
[10,897 minutes = 181 1/2 hours = 22 and 3/4 (8-hour) days]
[RATE: 23.3 minutes/hairband; .04285500970584 hairbands/minute]

 


 

RUBY       40 years of marriage, in teak
2019
cutting board

[RATE indeterminate]

 


 

IT ISN’T LONG, MY PRETTY. IT ISN’T LONG.
The rest of my life, in cloves
2019
jar of cloves

[APPROXIMATE RATE: 1/2 jar per ~ 22 years]
[APPROXIMATE RATE: 1194 cloves per ~ 22 years = 54 cloves per year] [Yes, I counted the cloves.]
[APPROXIMATE RATE: .0185185185185 … years per clove = 3/4 day per clove]

 


 

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