Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Time and Space

Angus McCullough began his timespace project with a truly experiential approach - taking the train from Vermont to LA. He then transposed himself to Joshua Tree and the residency began. 

Angus's residency project was to launch fully into his investigation of timespace (or space-time), an exploration he knew would then continue for quite a while to come. He was soon in the studio making wire models and drawings that depicted the experience of attempting to understand/explain four dimensional concepts. As best I could understand it, the approach developed from imagining what it would be like to be a two dimensional (flat) insect crawling across our three  dimensional shapes. Flipping over the edge of a cube would be like shooting oneself to another universe…

Another aspect of his explorations was the personal experience of timespace and it's connection to moments of deja vu. Assisted by Kelsy Gosset, a visiting student from Wichita State University, Angus set up a series of markers in the landscape which denoted personal time zones - before standardized time, we each had our own personal notion of time related to the position of the sun overhead our particular location. Once time was standardized to enable commerce to flow more smoothly via the rail lines, personal time was lost. Angus was interested in recapturing personal time and in how the notion tied to the experience of de ja vu. He also kept a dream journal and published entries as part of his exploration.

Mid-way through his residency, Angus gave a talk about the background of his project to an enthusiastic crowd. Philosophy and physics, history's strange twists and turns and the role of art in uncovering all of this were heartily discussed. We also attended presentations by artists of the Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency at which Angus was able to present his background and introduce the project.

In addition to the drawings, tracings, sculptures and writings, Angus worked on a video piece which became the centerpiece of his open house. The piece interwove material shot on his long train journey with atmospheric moments captured in Joshua Tree. It is a haunting piece that makes time, and the related sense of loss quite, apparent and hints at the uneasy experience which de ja vu invokes in some. 

The open house became one large installation piece with artifacts of the research displayed alongside artworks and works in process. The video was shown as a multichannel projection alongside some shorter works and one made by Amalia Wiatr Lewis who joined Angus for the last week of his stay. Part of the sound track was composed of clips of Angus playing, and playing with, a trumpet the intermittent sounds of which were a wonderful add to the BoxoHOUSE atmosphere.

The event was well attended and the work very well received. Angus gave a brief talk and then screened the video in full to an engaged audience. The open house ended with a brief concert conducted with another participant via Skype 

Many thanks to Angus for his dedicated research and exploration and we look forward to seeing where this long reaching project takes him. (Here is the page Angus created to reflect his work from the residency: LINK)

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