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Exhibition: It's About Time

September 23 - November 22, 2023


In September 2023, Brand Library & Art Center presented It’s About Time, an attempt to make the complex subject of time more coherent through a multidisciplinary, tactile, and visceral study of materiality, process, and technique. The exhibition, co-curated by April Greiman and Stacie B. London, featured seventeen Los Angeles artists including Michael Rotondi, whose contribution comprised original sketchbooks and print reproductions from over four decades.



CATALOGUE FOREWORD BY MICHAEL ROTONDI


Time emerges from a quantum world without time. Once in our world, it regulates our daily lives, and helps us organize and understand interval, sequence, duration, and flow. We know time as a metric, an index, or a metaphor. The concept of time is intrinsic to everything we do, everything we know, and subsequently everything we make. It is a framework to perceive and experience change. Time is the fundamental dimension of change. Change is constant, continuous, expansive, and inevitable, but without time, change would have no context, and without change, time would not exist.

Time’s arrow and time’s cycle are concepts that relate to the perception and understanding of time, in different contexts and scales.


Time’s arrow describes the linear progression of time, events unfolding sequentially, implying that time is irreversible and unidirectional.


Time’s cycle recognizes the presence of repetitive and recurring patterns and rhythms, within that linear flow, in culture, society, and nature.


Knowing these concepts gives us a framework for exploring the complexities of time and its influence on every aspect of our lives.

The discovery of “deep-time” refers to the vast and almost incomprehensible expanse of time that encompasses the history of the universe, Earth, and life on the planet, timescales that span billions of years. While humans have developed tools and concepts to describe this vastness, our everyday perception of time is limited to a much shorter and more practical range. Deep-time shifts beyond our capacity to readily imagine such a time-space continuum.

Paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould wrote about this in Time’s Arrow, Time’s Cycle (1988), a book that presented the vastness of Earth’s history. He threaded a line from the present to a past so ancient, we could only comprehend it metaphorically. Time’s arrow and time’s cycle are concepts that relate to the perception and understanding of time, in different contexts and scales.


MAIN VIEW (CLICK THROUGH)


RED BOOK SERIES 1-6 (CLICK TO EXPAND)


ACCORDION BOOK: SECTIONS (PHOTO + VIDEO)



TIME JOURNALS (CLICK TO EXPAND)


NEW JERSEY HOUSE LINE DRAWINGS 1-3 - TRIPTYCH (CLICK TO EXPAND)


POSTCARD SERIES (LETTERS TO BENJI) (CLICK TO EXPAND)

BELMONT BEACH AQUATIC CENTER PROCESS STRIP (VIDEO)



ROOM TEXT


It’s About Time

Roto


Preface: Turning Pages, Virtually

My contribution to this exhibit are in a display case and on the walls of this room. They were made with pencils, fountain pens, and fine point ink pens.


In the display case are original sketchbooks, soil from places I’ve been, and a few common objects from my collection. On the walls are reproductions of original drawings. They describe, define, or embody the the subject of TIME.


On the walls are reproductions of sketches you would see when turning pages, from the same books in the case, and three reproductions of hand drawings of geometric ordering systems inspired by music notation for a house in New Jersey. Overall, many of the drawings are notations that express inherent ordering systems, geometric structures used as conceptual frameworks, and visual rules for subsequent generative work. Some represent component systems within physical or virtual worlds I am thinking about.


In the worlds envisioned, fact and fiction are intertwined like a double helix. Both are given equal standing and assumed to be complimentary.


Hand and Imagination

What if our imagination unfolds in proportion to the rate our hand moves?

The use of the hand for all of our daily activities, especially for crafting tools or objects, or making drawings, has been an integral part of human history and cultural development, enabling us to record and shape the world around us for tens of thousands of years.


Intertwining Fact and Fiction

In creative speculations, the relationship between fact and fiction is essential.

Creative speculations often blend real-world elements with imaginative or fantastical elements. While drawing inspiration from factual information, they also allow for the exploration of alternative realities, abstract concepts, and imaginative scenarios that diverge from established facts. The balance between fact and fiction in any disciplinary speculation can lead to insights, pushing the boundaries of knowledge, understanding, and aesthetics.


Why I Draw and Journal

There is one central reason I draw and journal: to shift what is in my mind’s eye out of my mind.

Visualizing my imagination in shapes and words is where the creative process begins for me.

This array of books and cards presents a greater body of note-postcard-journal-sketch books from over four decades. I recently rediscovered a number of pages that are specifically about the subject of TIME.

It became a subject of my curiosity long ago, when I began deep research about alternative education and its fundamental reliance on change, types, rates, frequencies, and scales.


It’s About Time and Change

Time is intricately interconnected with change.

Time is the measurement of the duration between events, the flow of moments, and the sequential ordering of occurrences. The concept of time allows us to perceive and understand the progression of events, the cycles of nature, and the unfolding of history. Without time, change would have no context, and without change, time would not exist.


Prof. Michael Rotondi / RoTo Architects



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