• Shriya Malhotra

Time, Errors and Miscommunication

Updated: Nov 15



Time, although described as a dimension and a fundamental property of the universe we live in -- is culturally and socially constructed as well as mediated by visual representation and therefore is an aesthetic experience, mediated through art as well as design.


The scientific and rationally-dominated view of time as both linear and potentially finite seems to stand in contrast with many Eastern concepts of time (eg: lunar calendar) as well as other traditional knowledge paradigms (eg: the Mayan wheel of time).



In considering this bias and therefore [framing] of the human lived experience by these philosophies, I would be interested in the refaming the idea of time and balancing it with the following: 1) that there are many valid and alternative constructions of time by civilizations throughout known existence. 2) that the experience of time is individually as well as culturally subjective (eg: Indian standard time). 3) expressing and coding these into errors and glitches can be a form of alternative knowledge. 4) that rationality may have reached its extension and requires rebalancing with the opposite


Time as a notion appears to correlate with creating intervals that can contain / control / confine in order to explain rhythmns of existence (beyond work-related), and to potentially embody in many pluralistic ways errors and miscommunicatione across the ages. Time seems to be the area thats often "corrected" for things to organize themselves and to function. We are late only because there is a possibility to be exactly on time for instance.


In also considering the philosphy of art, and the concerns of aesthetics, time is both subject and representative of the visual world around as and seems to represent an ongoing struggle of people explaining a force of flows that determines changes in the world around us.


By examining how time is depicted and experienced visually gives cultural insight as well as a paradigm for inclusions of more than one social construction (or hegemonic narrative). Time then becomes less rigid and more porous; its rates vary by location, culture and experience; and as a perception rathwr than a finite fact, it oscillates between being a science or a constructed philosophy.


Convergence and Recurrence


There is a familiar experience of deja vu, which is when people go through something - a feeling - and it is as thought they have been there before. this is interesting because in recent findings, deja vu is described as a miscommunication in the brain, a symptom of a neurological issue. This is interesting firstly because for the experience of deja vu, we know it feels almost like a wormhole to being in another time and place.


But more interesting to me personally, is that this all occurs inside the brain, and so the entire idea of reality can also be contained within the synapses. This is interesting not just for thinking about what time is and how people experience it, but also for artificial inteligence and the arts: what we make and the response loops generated, and the requirement of existing beings (artificial or natural) to express.


What if a moment in time -- is a specific recurring coordinate? What if time is simply the experience of a brain spark.


Time, Memory and Reverb


Although time implies change, it also implies a construction or framework for understanding. People understand memory as being an elsewhere or a somewhere of the past. We calculate space using the time taken by sound waves to reverbs like bats do. It seems to be the case that thinking about the passage of time as a a recurring and multilayered loop rather than a linear process of just evolution indicates that time, in addition to being a dimension, is also a force.


Durations, Transitions and BPM


I have always been enamoured by Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky, known for creating abstract works where he translated the experience of music into colors and lines, on to a canvas. I think there is something bigger to this experience - a dramatic lure in visual representation of invisible things. Whether this becomes the concept of time, the philosophy of existence, the exploration of the self occupying a body, or even the brain in the world. (Potentially, just a movie I have not seen yet).


I find this interesting because these are topics I have tried to explore as a way of understanding the world and myself: why science and social science miss each other; what the rhythmns of movement are like at political protests; what my pedometer sounds like vs my heart beat; and how data I produce can be reproduced experientially for others as a form of art. Kandsinky's idea of visually representing sound isn't perhaps a new one but I am intrigued by what insight he provides of art as being navigational not static, and his canvases offering routes and trajectories


[These are things that I am looking forward to starting (and hopefully, finishing) during this residency.]

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