Chronos… is the concept of time as a measure, a quantity of duration that changes in uniform and serial order.
Kairos… is a kind of time charged with promise and significance. It is time that saturates time. The dimensions that characterize Kairos are neither uniform nor predictable … In Kairos, time is not kept, it is unleashed.
~ Paul Chan, A Time Apart (2010)
Time is relative. Before the advent of accurate timekeeping devices, people measured time based on the sun in combination with personal activities. Especially for artists, who often work outside traditional schedules, time is measured in alternative intervals.
As part of the process of designing Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, we gathered increments of time from the community, asking participants to submit the time it takes to ________________________, in minutes and seconds.
These intervals of time were collected at cSPACE King Edward (via the card box seen above) and online. We shared the information about Time Gathering as widely as possible, via social media and in-person, even leaving cards in the boxes of neighbours surrounding cSPACE.
There was an enthusiastic response: hundreds of Calgarians participated by measuring the time it took for various actions, activities, thoughts, and abstract notions. From the increments of time submitted, we selected the 50 most interesting and representative times to measure into hourglasses – kairological units of time.
This process was remarkably intense and fascinating. Increments of time ranged radically, from the time it takes “for a partial hip replacement” to the time it takes to “realize it was just a dream and you are no longer lying next to me.” Responses were united by little more than their vastly differing relationships with time.
The final times were typed and inserted into brass tags, intended to reference archival labels and inserted into the antique aesthetics of the 1912 sandstone building, which already hosts brass handrails and dark wood from a particular era.
Viewers can trace the tag up the brass chain to the hourglass, which measures the corresponding increment of time submitted during the Time Gathering.
To read all 50 times selected, visit the finished installation at cSPACE King Edward. Thanks to everyone who participated in our Time Gathering!