Art Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, the artwork that represents the time

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, the artwork that represents the time

Giulia Guido

Can you represent time? Can the passage of hours, minutes, and seconds, but also our perception of it acquire a concrete form? Although this seems impossible, Lane Shordee and Caitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garret seem to have succeeded. 
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, this is the name of their site-specific work designed for cSPACE King Edward in Calgary (Alberta) and composed of 105 hourglasses dangling from the ceiling at the entrance of the structure. Each hourglass was hand-blown and filled with sand directly from the sandstone bricks of the original building, grinding and sieving them.

Once all the hourglasses had been made, they were hung from the ceiling and a metal label was attached to each one specifying the time it is measuring: “how long can I hold my breath underwater”, “it takes to call my mother”, “it takes to realize that it was just a dream and that you are no longer lying next to me” are just some of them. Some of them are smaller and measure a few seconds, others reach 60 centimeters and measure almost 4 hours, but all of them, through a system of sensors connected to computers, at noon and midnight turn over and the sand starts flowing again.

Time is relative; its only worth depends upon what we do as it is passing,” said Albert Einstein and it seems that Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow manages to represent this relativity. Within a predetermined and canonical time, the one that divides the day from night, days into hours, hours into minutes, and so on, each hourglass measures a different time, reminding us how life is a complicated and infinite interweaving of different moments. 

Written by Giulia Guido
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