story © Michael Betancourt, September 24, 1998 all rights reserved.
Memory, most fickle of dimensions, is key to our experience of encountering these diminutive objects. The act of looking is as much a matter of our remembering what we saw a moment ago as it is a biological tapestry of rods and cones, neurons and synapses firing in a specific pattern. What we think we see is not always what is actually present before us. Desires and emotions color our experiences even as they cloud our recollections after the fact. For all of us, any movement through space entails a certain degree of movement through our memories of that space and our beliefs about what we will see next. We live in a network of overlapping spheres of memory and anticipation, the unseen dimensions of our worlds.
The objects presented here singly, in reflection, and in arrays all incorporate our memories into the experience of viewing them, much as with the Japanese rock gardens such as the one at Ryoan-Ji. The articulation of space demands an equal articulation of time because we cannot experience space expect through our interaction with it across a duration. The same is equally true of time. Both are intimately tied together in subtle, and unexpected ways. The connections between them are so obvious that they escape our notice as we proceed with our everyday lives. We think of time as the distance to cover before we can do something else, be somewhere else. We ask the question, “how far” and get an answer in minutes or hours....
All these objects are kinetic objects where understanding comes not from a single point of view, but from a series of multiple views taken during the viewing process. Movement of the viewer is an essential element, whether its potential movement through the movement of the eyes and the mind, or actual movement, is irrelevant to their kinetic status. As with Ryoan-Ji, they are immobile; it is the observer and the observer’s mind that must move.
Copyright © Michael Betancourt September 24, 1998 all rights reserved.
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