On March 15 and 16, 2013, the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley will present Spiraling Time: Intermedial Conversations in Latin American Arts, part of its yearlong Time Zones series examining time-based arts in an international context. To jump-start the conversation in advance of the event, symposium participants have been invited to share here some brief reflections on what interests them about time and temporality. This posting is by the Brazilian artist and poet Nuno Ramos.
In my country, Brazil, the issue of time is an odd one. It’s clear that we live in a sort of perpetual disconnect between the past and the future, in the sense that we assimilate little of what the present has to offer. The present moment seems to commit joyful suicide at every instant. And yet this euphoric feeling of nowness, as if we did not in fact come from no place and were forever headed nowhere, also exists side by side with the opposite feeling – that things never truly change and that we remain in the same absurdly unequal and unjust place as always. I believe that my work seeks to work with this in some form, transferring this ambivalence with regard to time onto the evanescent, unstable presence of Matter. Perhaps that’s why I work with materials as fragile as Vaseline, sand, lime, and powder – to test the now, bringing it to the verge of collapse.