Temporal Chaos is an installation revolving around how contemporary media has changed our sense of experiencing and thus our understanding of the concepts of space and time. Beginning with Einstein’s Theories of Relativity, we have come to realize that time and space are intrinsically linked. Today we have two primary ways of experiencing time-space. The first is our relationship with sunlight. We have traditionally lived our lives coexisting with the Earth’s movement around the Sun. Day and night, the seasons, religious holidays, rituals, celebrations, all are extensions of this dependency. The second way of experiencing time-space is through telecommunication. Since the invention of the telegraph and the train, we have had to delineate time into physical regions. This was necessitated by our ability to communicate and travel great distances more easily. With global satellite and internet capabilities our sense of time-space not only has compressed it has also accelerated. Our relation with time and space is now realized as a form of global networked consciousness. Communication with friends, family and colleagues is so on-demand that we must be conscious of our time as well as their time. If I (in Singapore) want to chat over the internet with a friend in the United States or the United Kingdom, I need to be conscious of what time zone I am in, and the time zone of my friend. How are the times different, is it morning there? Is it night time there? How can these differences be understood in a realistic way? While these are very abstract questions, they serve as a construct of our reality. These are questions that many of us are asking ourselves on a daily basis.
In this work we are combing these forms of time-space into one compacted physical place. This work presents four different forms of time-space in one place. Through the use of projected lighting we will be able to replicate the equivalent of the sunlight in any given place on Earth. This will be communicated to the viewer through the shadows of the objects in the room. The time expressed through the shadows will be different than local time. This artificial time will be accelerated in the room so that a “day” can be depicted in a short period of time, a half hour to an hour, This means the equivalent of a day, sunrise to sunset, will occur in 30-60 minutes. At the same time the shape of the shadows themselves will be a live video stream of a different location from a different time zone. Conceptually this piece will place four forms of temporal experience into one space. There is the time of the viewer when s/he enters the room. In addition to this there is the time of the geographic location determined for the lighting. Thirdly there is the time of the video image, which would be streamed from a location in a time zone different from the display of the work. Finally, because the day-to-night time will be sped up, this will add the final temporal distortion to this work.
This project encompasses a second narrative element. The locations used for the installations have been chosen to tell the story of the colonial trade routes of the British Empire. If we use the rubber trade as an example of the process of colonial trade in the 19th and 20th centuries, it can be described as follows. The colonies (Singapore) produce raw materials (latex) to be shipped to the Britain for manufacturing (tires, rubber soled shoes). In this work the installations will be in Singapore and San Francisco, the lighting set ups and video stream for each installation will rep resent London. In this way the the lighting and video of the installation represents the control of Britain over its empire. As well as how that empire allowed Britain to become a dominant economic and political power. By bringing in this historical narrative the project uses yet another form of time as history and memory, tying our understanding of time-space to the human experience. As a whole the work makes both physical and metaphorical how time-space plays out not only in our present lives, but across history.
The piece involves creating multiple zones of the same time-space in various locations. This will be accomplished through the use of artificial lighting and image mapping. Each location will have an installation designed to look like an office found in that city. Projected in to this space will be virtual sunlight based on a predetermined latitude and longitude. This lighting will create both light and shadows in the space corresponding to the position of the virtual Sun. The shadows will become realtime masks for live video streams of the other cities connected by this installation.