Yesterday and today

Pierre Huyghe, Timekeeper, 1999
A highly site-specific work by Pierre Huyghe, who we’ve admired in class in other contexts. It’s a wall sanding through layers of paint to the wall surface…thereby providing a window to read the passage of time–and from a flat surface! But isn’t it strange to think that if you perform this operation on a tree, rings are exposed that reveal the same passage of time as from a cross-cut section, if you were able to go all the way to the center…? (Although right,  not the whole ring as it was formed) An ongoing consideration is how our conventions and tools dictate the kinds of information we receive, and how we receive it. This is an inversion, or a 90-degree turn, in any case, that challenges what we think we know about how to know and measure a tree–if you know what I mean…

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