PERPETUUM MOBILE 2021
The question of time has tormented the human being from the beginning. It is no coincidence that the Greeks associated time with a terrible mythological god – Cronus, god of time, the king of the Titans, who rules destinies and devours everything. Philosophies and religions seem to prefer to think of eternity, defining time in the negative: time is what eternity is not. Everything that exists seems to be subordinate to time. Everything exists to disappear. An existence inscribed in temporality is, therefore, an existence as a process of existing.
We know that life had a beginning and will have an end. Perhaps because of the restlessness of the mind in face of the incomprehension of life, of the vacuum, we count time in seconds, minutes, hours, days, months and years, according to the anthropometric temporal scale. An instant is, by definition, lonely. No two instants coexist. We tend to disregard the gaps between instants, just as when we observe a clock we disregard the fact that between one second and another, the indication is a time that does not pass while we wait tolerantly for the change of the digit or the movement of the pointer. We establish for time the image of an oriented straight line in which past and future moments are outlined. The present is a point that moves on the straight line, coinciding with immobile, instant-points, between which we measure time intervals (Δt). Time as a linear and quantifiable phenomenon is a very useful device for organizing life. Chronology and clock time is, in fact, the time elaborated and followed by contemporary life, in its social and technical dimensions. It is difficult to say where the human ends and the inhuman begins, whether as technological ramifications or acting in a world that is above all image and publicity. Social networks, electronic messages, daily and routine tasks colonize life span, whose purpose seems to elude us. Is it comforting to discover that the time that devours us, like a starving Cronus, and to which we are inexorably subjected in the 21st century, is an illusory image?
Paula Rosa, 2022