Eight minutes ago, photons of sunlight that took thousands of years to migrate from the sun’s core left its surface and traveled towards Earth. As a result, everything we see is bathed in eight-minute-old light. The Last Eight Minutes invites visitors to re-establish an awareness of our direct connection to the sun, which has fueled planetary systems on Earth for the past 4.6 billion years. Photons (the smallest amount of light perceptible to our eyes) arrive every micro-second on Earth and flow into the gallery space through floor-to-ceiling windows. Each particle/wave is new and different from the one that arrived micro-seconds before. The sunlight we experience as “given” or “stable” is constantly changing.

The Last Eight Minutes was first staged as an ephemeral micro-production at the former Pfizer factory on April 23, 002017, as part of the group exhibition con•tin•u•ums (time beyond lifetimes) curated by Patrick Jaojoco.

image: Gunnar Meier

It was also included in the 002018 group show, ZEITSPUREN – The Power of Now, at Pasquart Swizterland. The exhibition examined the aesthetic and cultural significance of time within contemporary narratives and its impact on how we structure our lives and experiences.  Further documenation of the installation can be found on the FOP blog.

The 002017 event was the third in an ongoing series of micro-productions that smudge studio inaugurated in early 002017 entitled CONVEYANCE: what’s here. This series’ unrepeatable, ephemeral assemblages activate and meet the varied conditions and moments in which they are staged. smudge studio experiments with diverse forms—architectural, gestural, theatrical, conceptual—to create participatory installations that function as studio + teahouse + place of contemplation and refuge.

The April 23rd event was offered as a focused context for experiencing singular moments of change across eight minutes and 24 seconds and drew upon and translated aspects of the Japanese tea ceremony. The April 23 event included the brewing and drinking of green tea with sweets provided by wagashi asobi, Tokyo, providing hospitality to strangers and guests. By way of this micro-production, smudge studio offers the question: “What is the I that sees through eight-minute old light?”

Further documentation of the April 23rd event is available via the FOP blog.

What's Here: The Last 8 Minutes 4.23.002017 materials list: 1 star, 1 planet, eight minutes and 24 seconds of constantly arriving waves of photons, 93,466,655 miles of space, 12 invited guests and strangers, 1 sunflower, 1 vase, 12 folding chairs, 1 roll of yellow jute, 1 hook, 24 higashi designed and made by wasgashi asobi, 1 pack of kaishi (paper), 1 liter of New York City filtered water, 23.5 grams of gyokuro tea, 12 cups, 1 strainer, 1 tea beaker, 1 teapot, 1 tablecloth, 1 tea towel, vinyl window text, 1 bell, 1 scroll, 8 cyanotype prints, 8 sheets of white paper.

Left text, accompanying white paper:
Photons arriving over the next 8 minutes are currently this many miles away : 8 minutes 93,000,000 miles, 7 minutes / 81,375,000 miles, 6 minutes 69,750,000 miles, 5 minutes / 58,125,000, 4 minutes/ 46,500,000 miles, 3 minutes / 34,875,000 miles, 2 minutes / 23,250,000 miles, 1 minute / 11,625,0000 miles

Middle area without paper: here/now

Right text, under 8 cyanotypes on left side:
Arriving photons accumulated over: 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes, 6 minutes, 7 minutes, 8 minutes

video footage by Tomson Tee, editing smudge studio

The Last Eight Minutes' first iteration was staged as "Postcard Dispatch #4" for the Living Deep Time Year 00001 in September 002016

To read more, see the related FOP post: The Last Eight Minutes September 002016



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