Last night I attended a gathering at Bruna Press a wonderful space/place, archive and community in Bellingham WA. The evenings teachings were about Coast Salish concepts of time and space. Lead by elder, teacher WILLIAM John, X'welwelat'se, the conversations and discussions ranged from street names to treaties, climate change to the future of nation-states and language. In the end I realize we made Time together.
Thinking so much about time and place/space. Time in western culture seems so bound to the idea of the individual self. Is time merely the metric by which we quantify our productivity? Measure our progress? Time seems to obscure the present by winnowing it down to a tic on a clock. Time is so much deeper and wider than that. I think a collective understanding of time, many many lines running parallel, perpendicular, crosswise and up against, under and over one another could be a more accurate image of the concept.
I had a dream last night and in it was some kind of time machine. It was like a harp but with strings so densely strung the space beyond it was obscured until when the strings began to move like they were being played by some invisible hand, we could see the past between the strings. The strings were mostly red and some yellow, orange, warm feels. This machine let us see what we lost and what we longed for. Loved. There’s a story around the harp-time machine that I won’t go into now. I needed to write this down before the day runs away with last nights dreams.
My dream and the discussion inspire me to continue to work on my current project, the Sagehen Residency, the Time-Bomb letters, the objects props, the time-pieces. We sculptors, we are material researchers. We investigate matter, and in that sense, relations with matter, each other, our world and beyond. I’m going to build a time machine.