Olafur Eliasson
Your engagement has consequences
24 April - 7 June 2008
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Press Release

Your Engagement has Consequences
Olafur ELIASSON


‘Physics has found no straight lines – has found only waves – physics has found no solids – only high-­‐frequency event fields. THE UNIVERSE IS NOT CONFORMING TO A THREE-­‐ DIMENSIONAL PERPENDICULAR-­‐PARALLEL FRAME OF REFERENCE. The universe of physical energy is always divergently expanding (radiantly) or convergently contracting (gravitationally).’ Richard Buckminster Fuller


Everything is situated within a process – everything is in motion. This not only applies to comprehensive systems like entire societies or the development of an international search engine on the internet, but also to our perception of a given space, here and now, and to our interaction with other people. All these relationships are evolving and they are not merely situated in the midst of their time; rather, they are of time.

Despite this, contemporary culture has a tendency to objectify a vast quantity of systems, relations, situations and ideas by depriving them of their temporal dimension. As a result, we have grown accustomed to regarding objects as timeless and our conception of space has been formalised. The entertainment industry, especially, has developed a strategy of communication that consciously omits the notion of temporality, since this makes it easier to set up universal utopias and desires for consumers. The separation of time and objects is thus to a large degree driven by commercial aims.


In this short essay, I hope to reintroduce awareness of time as a constituent element of objects and our surroundings through two small case studies. The first traces the relation between an idea and time, whereas the other explores vibrations as a language with which to describe space. By focusing on time and vibrations, we can create a perspective – a construction, of course – from which an alternative spatial conception springs.

Artists