An investigation into the meaning of time and inhabitation through the collective documentation of personal experiences. The cyanotype is the chosen medium for the recording of multiple individual photograms to create a composite visual diary. The project context is the temporal monotony created by the loss of routines due to the pandemic. This "disappearance of time" has resulted in an undifferentiated experience where the personal markings of time have been lost.
"Time Stills challenges us to find richness in the details of the familiar, create meaning out of the everyday, recognize the multiplicity of our experiences and generate an anthology of time recordings."
We asked hundreds of participants from all over the world to create 15 cm x 15 cm cyanotype photograms from photo-sensitive paper to create “Time Stills”. The finished photograms were returned by mail, indicating the location of the recording, the time of the day and the duration of the exposure. The project invited participants to step out of their homes and find sunlight. An action that can evolve into a ritual as the individual explores the familiar, the domestic and the physical.
“Time Stills” plays off the whimsical quality of the medium, the action of collecting and to the power of indexical signs. The cyanotype and photogram speak to the childlike wonder at the appearance of an image created on paper with simple objects in sunlight. The accumulation of photograms becomes a tapestry and the focus of the installation with its recognizable Prussian blue hue and ghosted silhouettes"
The received photograms have been curated and installed at Palazzo Mora in Venice as part of the Biennale together with the names of participants and their locations. As the project continues to develop, we will continue the recording and the collection of TimeStills as part of the exhibition in Venice and plans for future exhibits.
Additionally, physical models have been created using several selected photograms as a source, interpreting and translating each 2-dimensional imprint of shadow and light into a cube. The goal of this exercise is to portray time, space and existence through the architectural act of interpretation of the abstract into form; each cube representing a thought, memory or idea manifested in 3-dimensions.
PARTICIPATION | INSTRUCTION
With the sun angle and intensity variations through the day, year and region of the world, exposure times will vary. In New York City at 3:00pm in May/June 11/12 minutes, Miami: 9/10, Venice: 10/11, Gothenburg: 13/14 minutes, Cape Town: 13/14, Tokyo: 11/12.
Open the envelope that was mailed to you. Inside you will find one pre-stamped black return envelope, two pre-packaged cyanotypes (15cm x 15cm watercolor paper with emulsion) in a light resistant black plastic sleeve and one adhesive label. Note: We have provided two for you so you can practice or keep one for yourself.
b. Do not remove the cyanotypes from the black sleeve until you are ready to expose to light.
c. Prepare objects that will fit on the cyanotypes that are meaningful to you or significant in the marking of time during the pandemic. They can be anything as long as they can cast a shadow and can be stationary for 15 minutes. They can be fully opaque or semi-transparent.
d. Note: you will have a few moments to assemble your objects on the paper or you can pre-arrange them in a shaded or dark area before exposing them to direct sunlight.
e. Arrange your cyanotype and objects in the sun and time them for 10 to 15 minutes, based on sun strength and you geographical location . Enjoy the wait.
f. After 10/15 minutes, remove the objects and insert the exposed cyanotype back in the black plastic sleeve to halt the exposure. You will see that there is already an imprint where the sun has left its mark.
g. Upon returning inside, gently rinse the papers until the water runs clear and no more blue hue is seen running from the paper. The yellow, unexposed cyanotype emulsion will also turn white. You can leave these in a bath of water for a few more minutes and add a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, if you have it, to the bath to speed up and enhance the final appearance of the final photogram.
h. Place the photograms somewhere until dried. Note: The exposure is set after rinsing so they can be dried anywhere, just preferably not in direct sunlight.
i. Finally, on the dried back of the photogram, write where you were when you made the photogram, what time of day and the length of the exposure. Voila, you have created a TimeStill!
j. Now, using the provided stamp and envelope, return one or both of the photograms to us. We will take care of the rest.
k. If you need more cyanotypes, please contact us and we will send them to you.
PLEASE RETURN THE FINISHED TIMESTILLS TO US AS SOON AS YOU CAN. PREFERABLY BEFORE APRIL 30th.
We hope that we have piqued your interest and curiosity about the project potential and look forward to your participation. The success of TimeStills depends on you and many others. We have ambitious installation and documentation plans and are intending on presenting this project first in Venice, then New York City and elsewhere.
You can participate in multiple ways:
+ Receive a cyanotype kit from us, make a TimeStill and return it in the provided envelope.
+ Request a cyanotype kit from us by email and make your own TimeStill to be included in the exhibit.
+ Support the project and spread the idea throughout your network.
+ Help us procure sponsors, editorials and press.
+ Provide fabrication services for the 3D models.
+ Donate directly to the project, to help us cover the ECC exhibition costs.
We are a New York based interdisciplinary team of architects and designers.