This artwork is about the isolation, monotony and chronic stress I have been feeling because of the global pandemic that has plagued us the past year. I feel that it destroyed my sense of time and distorting the shape of my days, weeks and months, sometime condensing time and other times stretching it out. During 2020 I felt like I was in a time warp where everything just stood still. The sense of timelessness made me feel like I was in sort of a purgatorial state. The old adage “the days are long, but the years are short” didn’t hold true for me during this pandemic, “the days were long, and the year was also long.” Without the usual activities that marked and divided the calendar it was harder processing how I experienced time, which has had a profound impact on me. Since the pandemic confined me to my home, it upended my routine and blurred the markers I relied on to keep track of time. And to make matters worse last year wasn’t marked by just one big crisis but a cascade of them: a killer virus with political chaos, racial strife and environmental catastrophes.
Time became an obsession, I tried to distinguished between the time we count and the time we inhabit. Since the normal variety of activities that use to act as time markers were gone I felt like everything bled together into one amorphous blob of days and months. The dictionary defines a time warp as a “discontinuity, suspension or anomaly.” Without breaks in my repetitive routine this year has felt like all three terms were applicable. Creating art resistant to man-made mechanics of time-keeping became important to me.
My current artwork is called “Pandemic Time Warp” and is an installation of 100 feet of 1/4 clear tubing that has been wrapped with black and red 7-ply waxed linen. The wrapping method I used was coiling, typical in traditional basket making. When I was encasing the tubing I would I incorporated written messages underneath expressing how I was feeling at that particular moment.
The methodical wrapping of the tubing mimicked the slow motion way time felt to me. Every coil made marked a moment in time. The rhythmic action felt like a heartbeat, a pulse undetectable except to me. At other moments the twisting of the linen around the tubing seems to capture the grief of the bereave’s mourning ritual of wringing of a handkerchief.
The wrapped portions of the tubing tracked time intervals and represented the way I was feeling, red denoted a neutral or good day and the black was a day I may have been sad, depressed, in pain or low on energy. By leaving a break in the coiling by exposing the clear tubing was my way of imposing an artificial endpoint to each day.
In conjunction with the artwork, I assisted in composing a musical component that would be played while viewing the installation. In collaboration with a musician, the art was data indexed by measuring each segment of the piece and then the information was charted. There were 101 segments of which 50.5 inches were clear and 49.5 inches was the tubing with coiled wax linen. I worked on the coiling as long as I wanted to during the day and then left a random clear segment.
With the information measured from each segment, the musical component was created. The cord structure were proportional to the each of the wrapped and clear length within the art piece (red, clear, black) and the amplitude (magnitude, size volume proportion) of the sound washes were a function of how long the intervals were. The higher frequency washes were red, the bigger booming sounds represented black and everything else was clear.The cord structure gave it movement then another layer on top to give was the
As Luchita Hurtuda says, ““Artwork is a diary. It’s really notes on your living.” I believe that my art is a reflection of the infinite time loop we are experiencing during this pandemic as well as a diary of my feelings during this turbulent period in history. My memories were time-stamped to retain some semblance of sequence, or chronological order of my life. Through this art I have created a language that speaks to the me of the way I am experiencing time.