Photo & Text © Xárene Eskandar
Philosopher Vilem Flusser puts forward a hypothesis of two events that have changed the course of civilization: first the invention of linear type, and second, the invention of the technical image. I have added a third event: the simultaneous experience of different scales of space and time, from nano to galactic and beyond. This is not just through the technical image, but through our perceived body and the perception we have of the time and space we occupy. Being able to shift the perceived boundaries of our body is the first paradigm for becoming architectural bodies.
“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”
Everything does happen at once: at every given moment almost all imaginable thingsare happening for billions of living beings, at once. What does not happen at once is our experience of a moment in time.
Through the technical image, not only do we see different scales of space, we experience different scales of our body. Can we assume our scale has any effect in how we experience time in different space scales? Can we be experiencing time as we are now––second by second––because of our small scale in relation to the space our time is in relation to, a space in which we are very small? Can we be infinitely huge and experience all of space and its time at once? What happens to our perception of reality, of space and of self, when we are able to experience time simultaneously?
The answer to these questions is what I set out to explore with my photography and video and the specific editing technique of slicing time and space to be experienced at once. The video and photography show the entire span of a day––usually from sunlight to sunclipse––being experienced at once. This simultaneous experience of time is akin to our experience of first seeing images of Earth—the sudden awe in seeing the massive scale of the whole.
An aesthetic discovery of my video and photographic technique has been that insignificant moments becoming significant events. In Cinema 1: The Movement-Image, Gilles Deleuze defines every image as a set of rarefied or saturated data. Through the rarefication of the landscape by cutting it up across time and eliminating most of the information, I get a saturation of information. So the image does not hold one or the other form of data, but both. This saturation across time that is experienced at once leads to moments becoming events. What is an event but a significant moment? Events expand the moment; this expansion leads to awe; awe alters our perception of time. Time therefore becomes limitless. In a sense of limitless time, we become infinite.
I am a researcher, designer and media artist with a diverse background ranging from fashion and automotive design to architecture and live visuals. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Design from University of Cincinnati, Department of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, and MFA from Design Media Arts, UCLA. Currently I am working towards a Doctorate in Media Arts and Technology at UC Santa Barbara.
Drawing upon cultural anthropology, my research is focused on the evolution of the symbiotic relationship of technology and the human with the aim of creating crossover points into dimensions and ecologies referred to as ‘utopia’, whether aesthetic, technological, or social.
My general body of work looks to redefine architecture and focuses on the merger of architecture with the human body, and studying our perception of the body and self in relation to space and time. I am also an avid collector of books, muses, sand and cat whiskers.
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