Is it possible to grasp time perception and its speed? Is it possible to imagine time as fluidness that will get controlled by a system of caps, branches, adaptors, turns and valves? Will it slow down or speed up? Will it get refined? We are searching for a substance with the capability of absorbing time or its individualized reception. We are searching for a substance to take over our neurotic perception of the present. Some time ago we managed to rescue a pile of glass pipeline from a now-vanished building, the material providing an impulse for this project. We are interested in the fluidness of time and are pondering on the fluidness of glass, which relaxes its own structure over the course of time, and will simply flow away with gravity in millions of years.
In his book The Ecological Thought, Timothy Morton coined the term hyperobjects to describe things that are anchored in vast spaces and periods of time. Talking of hyperobjects, he refers to phenomena, entities, and even relations that are difficult to grasp in their measure, reaching planetary levels. What they have in common is that they “stick” to other systems around, are “non-local” in their distribution, and involve temporalities that are beyond the human-scale ones we are used to.
Compared to hyperobjects in their immenseness and entanglement in a broad ecosystem of relations, anchoring of a human being in these widely spanned systems seems trifling.
Although our survival as the human race is closely intertwined with them, hyperobjects often stay hidden from our attention. We are caught in the trap of our anthropocentric viewing of the world. At each moment, we cannot see but mere parts of the whole. Similar to an oil slick on the ocean surface, which is a consequence of a complex threading of economic and logistic factors in product manufacturing, there is a spot in our eye where all realities revealed by the outer world get lost.
Contemporary philosophy suggests a change of viewing perspective as a way out of this trap. This so widely quoted and artistically employed non-human point of view might become a legitimate, as well as a naïve solution. Being part of society, a human necessarily lives in a permanent presence of human constructs of thought. Such constructs help us recognize, analyse and categorize the outer world, though at the broadly ignored cost of the omnipresent reduction of reality. A consequence of the conscious or unconscious ignorance of certain qualities in this reduction is a series of global crises, which have recently become more and more pressing, and thus obvious, that is, visible.
With our theatrical installation, or joint live performance, we are trying to deflect, at least for a while, our perception temporality. We aim at doing away with the previously ingrained habits and mechanisms of our anchoring in time and space, which do not allow us to see but mere symptoms of a broad range of wider phenomena and relations that we are part of. We are building a shape in the borderland between an artistic installation, a therapy room and a musical instrument to provide safe space for stepping briefly out of the moment of existence and changing the view of it.
Artistic team: Stanislav Abrahám, Pavel Havrda, Johana Schmidtmajerová, Johana Střížková, Viktor Takáč, and Apolena Vanišová
Production: artodo z. s.
15 November-15 December 2023
Open daily from 5 to 7 pm
Venue: Studio Hrdinů theatre ‒ upper foyer, Veletržní palác, Dukelských hrdinů 47, Entrance E, Praha
The project was funded by the Czech Ministry of Culture, Czech Culture Fund and Prague 7 Municipal Authority.