Archive for May 18th, 2010

A note on event time –
I had always heard about event time as an opposite to ‘clock time’. Whereas people with watches see time as absolute and measured in ticks, more indigenous and tribal people who live with clocks, more in touch with the seasons and rhythms of the earth perceive time and even space quite differently.

But on googling it now – I don’t get much on it – but I don’t think I made up the idea or the term … (although if I blog here and no one else has did I? Another funny time question.)

I know I started thinking about it when I spent a lot of time some years ago looking at African Sculpture and art from the Pacific Islands at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. With huge hands, but short arms, large feet, sexual organs and faces, but small legs and torsos it was as if space itself was compressed and expanded in direct proportion of the perceived importance, of the body parts.

I know I read somewhere that this tribal sense of time and space differed from our ‘clock-time’ a good deal. It was based on events.

I wondered what it would be like to live in a society where a wooden figure became a ‘Fetish’ object – the holder of prayers and thoughts and ideas by the ever-increasing number of nails pounded into it over time. (I wonder about this as well when I see staples on wooden light posts in the city – the layers of interwoven wire – all which is left of years of posts, messages now gone. Only the metal staple remains as a ghost of the idea a thread-bear payer flag.

Looking now online, I do find this article from the NY Times on-line with Martin Heidegger’s idea that time is defined by what fills it up …
I also notice these ideas in Cubism – particularly Picasso, David Hockney’s photo montages and in Chuck Close’s work where the whole is definitely made up of tiny particles of perceptions – in other words segments of time – and not always of equal duration according to a clock.

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