Chronoception” Visual Thoughts about the perception of Time
Time is one of the most fascinating subjects we experience. We can feel its uninterrupted nature while it constantly flows and yet, we cannot stop it to analyze it and try to understand it better. It is one of the most mysterious physical phenomena that we deal with. A subject that has made philosophers, physicians and mathematicians across history rise questions that haven’t been completely resolved due to its unique and elusive nature.
Photography and lens based image are closely linked with the physical world. They occur in a certain space and capture fragments of time. When a camera´s shutter is triggered, it captures an instant in a frame, a selected duration of light passing through the lens to expose a sensitive surface.
Chronoception is a series of artworks that raises some questions in the form of visual thoughts. What exactly is time? Are clocks an accurate tool to measure time? Is there an absolute time ruling the physical world? How does our perception of the duration of an event is affected by subjectivity? How is time the 4th dimension? Do past present and future all exist? I explored a little of the wideness of this subject using a variety of photographic and digital postproduction techniques. Through them, I was able to manipulate Time contracting and expanding it, presenting different states of an action in a single frame and speeding up the peace at which some things happen. Through this manipulation, I created images that reveal a physical world that the naked eye can’t see. Both, concept and execution are connected through these still images and videos around a subject that has made my questions grow and my interest in the mystery of topic expand.
1. The convention of Time:
One of the most fascinating things I find about Time is the inability to measure 2 intervals by putting one at the side of the other. Historically, cultures for more than 4000 thousand years have tried to measure time through the position of the sun or the stars among other methods that have helped to order the patters of our lives. This piece addresses a number of issues around this approach to Time: day night cycles, seasons, physical clocks and time streams.
This is a dynamic NFT that switches from day mode to night mode. It works as a “clock” and can be used as an indicator of the time in the day we are living at.
It has been developed combining a series of techniques: stop motion, high speed photography that freezes a very small fragment (1/10,000 sec) and focus stacking ( to trick scale and depth of field). The final result is a 35 sec seamlessly looping video.
2. Infinite Instant:
The “lazy eight”, infinite or lemniscate is the visual representation of the endless. Opposed to the idea of the infinite, a frozen instant of a water splash shot at a 1/10000sec, shows a fraction of time that is too short for our eyes to see it without the help of high speed flashes and a camera. This artwork shows the idea of a constant never-ending flow and a contracted action at the same time. Our perception of duration can vary while experiencing a similar event in different circumstances, the subjectivity we impress to our experience is something that I have been attracted for a while. And this is what this image is about.
3. The living cycle:
Biological clocks measure cycles in natural life. For example, a human heart beats 70 times in average every minute and Windflowers open and close every day following the day/night cycles. Living beings follow a series of patterns depending on the time of the day, the year, it’s reproductive needs or the lunar phases.
This is a time-lapse video, shot across 4 days, where one image was shot every 4 minutes uninterruptedly during day and night. This time manipulation reveals the subtle movements of the Windflowers living cycle. A fun fact about the shoot of this piece is that those 4 days happened in the transition from 2021 to 2022.
Concept and Execution by Paloma Rincón