During a relatively short period in the eighteenth century, geologists changed the basic premise of existence when they theorised that the Earth’s lifetime did not consist of some six thousand years and instead existed on timescales that are so immense they resist the imagination. This was not a new idea, many ancient traditions have always asserted that the universe is not only much larger than what we see, but also much older.
Our perspective on deep time, as it came to be known, is akin to that of European scientists of the Romantic period who held that observing nature implied understanding the self and that knowledge of nature “should not be obtained by force”. This period was know for it’s belief in the notions of mystery and wonder, the centrality of the sense experience and the poetic relationship between science and philosophy. Deep time is a meeting of the rational and the intuitive.
For our installation at BOAA we used rock as an actor in time, assisting in our meditations on the geology of various sites and merging the biological and the inanimate, the intimate and the eternal.