The Time Switch series arises from my ongoing efforts to maintain a view of existence, specifically of our "life-time," that eludes conventional bounds. I want to do this because regarding time from a range of perspectives can prompt reconsideration of what is important - a resetting and recalibration of priorities for our brief lives.  Astronomer Carl Sagan spoke of the value of taking a wide perspective on our place, as he considered the Voyager mission’s 1990 photograph showing Earth as a tiny, pale blue dot:  our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. …It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world.  

In a similar way, the 1968 film "Powers of Ten" from Charles & Ray Eames considers one subject from a vast range of spatial scales, from the microscopic to the cosmic; the film is now shown in schoolrooms across the world, presumably because it ruptures normative consciousness by revealing the blossoming plurality within that which may appear singular.

I like to think that with Time Switch I am following a parallel course for my generation, but with regard to time rather than space. Thanks in large part to information technology, we now have a more nuanced and sophisticated understanding of space.  Virtual presence can be an acceptable, or even preferable, alternative to physical presence; to gain this option is to gain cognitive power.   Our relationship to time, however, remains largely uncritical, even unconsidered.  In an effort toward greater mental freedom, I want to challenge our singular view of time.

To do this, I start at an actual site: the nexus of a cemetery and a limestone quarry.  Here, human life-time joins the epic flow of geologic time.  The quarry contains countless beings, fossilized millions of years ago under a sea that has since vanished.   That stone is now being removed and processed into plaster, concrete and other forms of our built environment.   Thinking about the lives that ended in the cemetery yet in some sense continue on via the quarry and material processing plant is akin to viewing the Voyager photograph; considering this site and the implications it engenders can lift us outside of the “box” of our own lifespan as a frame of reference, and into a vastly wider field.   I push this movement further by establishing varied points of view, using imagery from my personal experience, perhaps in the manner of the Eames’s film.   “Powers of Ten” demonstrates that there exist myriad spaces within space, and reminds us that perspective is always a matter of personal choice.  I am attempting to do the same with regard to time – to shake up conventional viewpoints and to restore a sense of the multivalent and even arbitrary nature of our concepts.   By prompting the viewer to take the long (even very long) view of our place in time, I hope that these images can challenge delusions and prompt productive reconsiderations.

October 2012