‘Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That signifies nothing. For those of us who believe in physics, the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.’ (Letter of 21 March 1955. Einstein Archives 7-245)
W3 = 0 + CH4NC3
Note about the theory of special relativity: “It embodies a whole new way of looking at the world, a whole attitude to reality and our relationship to it. Suddenly, the rigid unchanging cosmos is swept away and replaced with a personal world, related to what you observe.”
Bill Murray, particle physicist at the CERN laboratory in Geneva.
I became interested in the concept of spacetime, the fourth dimension that sweeps away the Euclidean reality which defines our world. It replaces it with a fluid framework where coordinates become relative to the observer and where the unidirectional path of time from past to future no longer applies:
There are no temporal distinctions between past, present and future in the fourth dimension, just a ‘now’ that is relative to what we are doing, our location, our speed and trajectory in space.
W3=0+Cn4Nc3 is a transcript of we=0+chance. It describes an interactive piece, where the participant chooses his or her starting point ‘0’ and engages in a performance contributing towards the building of a work with the use of chance.
It discusses the idea of a fluid framework where the coordinates are relative to the observer and considers the relationship between the direction of these lines in space and time.
How it works
The navigation board has 96 directions in space:
At any given time (from the clock on the wall) the roll of a die determines the direction D(x:y) of the participant’s trajectory, represented by the elastic band, as well as its length Lz in space. The 6-sided die gives the 1st coordinate of the direction. It locates the square the participant will position themselves on: 1 means the 1st square from original location (0), 6 is the 6th square from (0). That square will be where the 2nd coordinate is defined, which will in turn determine the precise direction of the participant’s trajectory.
1- To start with, choose your starting point on the grid and document it by writing ‘0’ next to your chosen nail on the grid. Enter your name, as well as the time (from the clock) and date of your participation in one of the squares around your chosen point of reference.
2- Throw the 6-sided die to move to your square
3- Choose your next die accordingly for the next coordinate:
- Looking at the navigation board, the first and the second square have 8 possible different directions each. The participant will therefore use the 8-sided die if on these squares. The numbers from 1 to 8 will give the 2nd coordinate on the designated square, which will define the trajectory of the elastic band from the original location.
- On the third, fourth and sixth square, there are 16 possible new directions. The participant will therefore use a 16-sided die. The numbers from 1 to 16 will give them the 2nd coordinate on their designated square, which in turn will define their trajectory.
- On the fifth square, there are 32 possible new directions. The participant will therefore use the 32-sided die. The numbers from 1 to 32 will give them the 2nd coordinate on the designated square.
For example as see above, D(4:3) at 4h35: ‘4’ indicates that the participant drew 4 with the 6-sided die. They will start on the 4th square from their initial location 0 and will use the 16-sided die to find out their position on that square. The 16-sided die drew ‘3’. ‘3’ indicates the orientation of the trajectory, from the original location on the grid 0, to the top right corner of the fourth square.
5- Throw the 20-sided die to determine the length L of the move.
Note: If the number on the 20-sided die exceeds the number of coordinates available on the grid and the participant reaches the edge of the grid, he or she will need to reverse their course and finish counting the remaining points in the reverse direction of their track.
Strips of Time
The piece explores the idea of spacetime and its lack of distinction between past, present and future. It also raises the issue of relativity and demonstrates how perception is relative to the observer and their doing.
Strips of photographs are assembled in a continuum, over a wooden spool in a loop. Each photograph captures a slight change in an object (time-lapse). The changes can be observed all at once or individually and in no particular order as the viewer manipulates the strips back and forth.
From Chaos to Order
This piece challenges the idea of entropy: A praxinoscope allows the visualisation of more than one frame at a time with the possibility of going back and forth with the activation of the spin.
The images in this praxinoscope