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Miki Eleta - Playing with Time

Category: Portrait 24. March 2010

Every work of art has its own time structure, and Miki Eleta invites us to a dialogue about the transformation of time into space and vice versa.

“The infinite is in the finite of every instant” (quote from a fortune cookie)

Time passes, irreversibly. Man can do nothing about it; at best he can feel it and regrettably, only be able to realize it. He learned to interpret natural phenomena, he created tools which allowed him to measure it,

try to grasp its notion, and capture it in concrete images. They are the symbols, the technical artifacts, the scientific investigations and the artistic creations through which he tries to represent it and give it shape.

The great yearning nowadays is the quest for time. In arts this is reflected by the key notions in contemporary arts theory: transition, process, assembly, sequence, development….the traditional genres, classifications and categories disappear. The creative process, the procedure and even the spectators’ participation have primacy in artistic production and consumption.
Miki Eleta takes the risk of pursuing the idea of a complete piece of art and taking the required time to produce it.
But we are entering the era of instant time. The influence of micro-processors in the way of measuring time is already making its influence felt in our ways of conceiving the universe and our ways of thinking…

Today, in our era of microprocessors, instantaneousness has taken over in our lives and with it everything that makes it alarming, disquieting. There is reassuring sense of repetition in phases, as was in times when time was cyclical. There is a loss of sense of continuity, as opposed to when time appeared to be a vast mechanism, now there is only the moment that counts. Just take a look at a digital clock, time comes from nowhere and goes nowhere – it is the instant. Eletas merit is to return to us this sense of continuity.

The time is the same for everyone but the personal clock materializes the relationship of a person to his very own time. A clock individually «ties us to time». The fascination of clocks is that they all show the same thing which is to indicate the moment. But this universal functionality does not keep them from showing enormous differences (especially in price). In reality there is no more time to be seen in the inside of a clock than on its outside, as it exposes itself nowhere directly. Never have we seen, heard or touched time. It is never present as a raw phenomenon; we actually perceive only its effects, its avatars. Every clock hides time in a mixture of movements and periods and incites us to confound them with it. This strange needle of the clock which advances without showing us anything else than what it symbolizes - time resides outside of the clock.

Alice sighed wearily. `I think you might do something better with the time,' she said, `than waste it in asking riddles that have no answers.'
`If you knew Time as well as I do,' said the Hatter, `you wouldn't talk about wasting it. It's him.'
`I don't know what you mean,' said Alice.
`Of course you don't!' the Hatter said, tossing his head contemptuously. `I dare say you never even spoke to Time!'
`Perhaps not,' Alice cautiously replied: `but I know I have to beat time when I learn music.'
`Ah! that accounts for it,' said the Hatter. `He won't stand beating. Now, if you only kept on good terms with him, he'd do almost anything you liked with the clock. For instance, suppose it were nine o'clock in the morning, just time to begin lessons: you'd only have to whisper a hint to Time, and round goes the clock in a twinkling! Half-past one, time for dinner!'
(Alice in Wonderland)
(Text: Cem Angeli)

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