Time has been a theme of human thinking for centuries, since Aristotle, Saint Augustine, and even before, the nature of time has always been a source of dispute amongst artists, mathematicians, and philosophers. If we consider the basic five senses or even the eight extended ones (adding vestibular, proprioception, interoceptive), we cannot hear the time, we cannot see it, we cannot touch it, we cannot smell it, we cannot taste it. Then how do we know it is out there? Is there a beginning or will there be an end? If so, what was before the beginning or what will be after the end of time?
Time is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “a finite extent or stretch of continued existence, as the interval separating two successive events or actions, or the period during which an action, condition, or state continues; a finite portion of time (in its infinite sense: see sense A. 34a); a period.”
Wikipedia explains time as being “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in an apparently irreversible succession from the past, through the present, into the future. It is a component quantity of various measurements used to sequence events, to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change of quantities in material reality or in the conscious experience. Time is often referred to as a fourth dimension, along with three spatial dimensions.”
Speaking about spatial dimensions, it might be interesting to observe that while for the length we have many measurements units such as: meter, inch, foot, yard, furlong, horse length, terrestrial mile, nautical mile, fathom, earth radius, light-year, parsec, astronomical unit, and so on and so forth, we only have one international unit of time, the second, currently defined as about 9 billion oscillations of the caesium atom.
Although time is one of the most used words and notions, if we only think at how many “times” we use it during a day, are the above definitions or any other of the dozens of existing scientific ones clarifying without doubt for every human being the concept of time?
Time is defined as a continued progress or a continued existence, but have we all not had situations when time stood still when everything around us seemed to stop? On the other side are there not in our life's moments when time flies by? Furthermore doesn't time “pass” different from one person to another, or even for the same person during a day, mainly in consonance with the action performed at that particular time?
Wikipedia has encompassed in its definition the notion of “apparently irreversible” (where in the reversible theories its direction is not uniquely defined so that the future and the past are treated symmetrical) while other, even recent, theories are still discussing the concept of irreversibility in the study of time.
Saint Augustine suggested that time is present in, and measured by, the mind. The past and future are only in our minds, in our consciousness, the past is remembered while the future is foreseen. The past is not real in itself, the past is only real in as far as it is present in our mind since the past lives on only as far as we remember it. He also affirmed that the present is, but cannot last because if the present would last, then it would be an eternity and therefore not the present.
Nearly 1700 years after Augustine's concepts Einstein has presented the theory of relativity, showing that time is relative. In his theory time is seen together with the three dimensions of space, forming a flexible, four-dimensional space-time continuum, a Block Universe encompassing the entire past, present and future.
Throughout our linear reality, we always see ourselves in the present moment, we recall an approximate past (not necessarily known or remembered in every detail) and look into the future, where even if we have a sense of what is to come we are wondering many times what it will bring. We understand that the statuses of the past and the future are different, and this difference originates from the fact that the past has already happened and it is fairly known, whilst the future is yet to happen hence it is, from many perspectives, unknown.
From a, perhaps, more philosophically perspective, the past and future involve the existence of non-existence. Since the past is no longer, it does not exist into the now, it does not have any dimensions, hence time cannot be measured in the past. The future is yet to happen but it does not exist now either, thus we cannot measure the time in the future. As a consequence if neither the past nor the future does not exist, the only time that exists is now, the only existence is in the present now.
Seemingly, using different tools, we can measure time and we can compare segments of time with one another, having no fundamental difficulty with saying whether they are shorter, longer, or equally in comparison to one another. However, what we are really measuring is not the time per se but rather its passage through the present moment. We measure how the future is transformed into the past through each and every now moment, we measure a continuum, a succession of present moments now and now and now and now.
Seeing ourselves in terms of time comes more or less naturally for time is relative to the human mind, it is created by the human mind. The past and the future are only present in our minds in the now and it depends on each and every human mind and none of them exist outside the human mind. If I were to alter Augustine’s affirmation, I would say not only does the present exist but it also lasts, it is the only time we have ever lived and will ever live in, composed of an eternity of now, for NOW is the only time that is truly, truly real.
From a metaphysical perspective, we are creating what we refer to as our ‘physical lives' in order to experience of what we call ‘linear reality’. Linear reality contains the idea that we call space, and therefore the idea of time to seemingly move through that space and experience that space.
The creation of ‘before, during and after’ is one of the sub-characteristics of our linear reality, and in fact allows us to experience ourselves in such a way that makes it seem as though we are not completely aware that we are indeed multidimensional, infinite and eternal beings.
We create time where we have before, during, and after. Although we have a sense of what has come before, of what is to come we always ever actually exist or experience the moment we call it now. So what it means is that in the now moment we recreate a past, we project a future and maintain a relationship and an invested interest in our relationship to the past and the future while many times neglecting what is happening in the present right now.
Although things or events sequentially from a set of steps from the past may lead to a present or now moment that is where the relationship ends. There is no causal relationship in the present form the past, there is no effect that the past can have on the present until we say so or we determine that it does, for in that now moment we then create the effect from a seeming past but we create it right here, right now. Consequently, we feel the effect seemingly of a past but it is not from the past itself having a hold on us, it is from our interpretation in the moment, our attitude in the moment and ultimately our actions in the moment, for if those actions reflect a high degree of belief that the past does affect the present, then we create an effect that seems to provide the evidence that it does, that seems to continuously provide a rational that the past does affect the present.
However this is merely something that we do in the Now moment therefore the Now moment is always our point of power, our point of decision, for since we always ever exist in the Now, it is always eternally right Now we can always change our reality right now for there is no other time. When we are willing to look at that we are not remembering a past that is ‘still there’ but recreating the past from the present right now we will understand that right now is all that matters. Right Now is the point at which we make, we create any determination or relationship to a past or a future. Right now is the time when we can change this idea.
The series comprises 13 artworks.
Hand Printed on B&W Ilford Baryta Paper
Matt Coating · Double Weight · 255 gsm · Fibre Base
Cotton Museum Board (Rising)