PROJECTS

LONG NOW

In progress

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The past is always present. What about the future? History is not an unambiguous harmonic progression, but rather a murmur of juxtaposed, interacting states of the past, present and future. 

     Atavisms are traits of the past that reappear after skipping intervening generations. If we extend this with characteristics from the future that manifest themselves in the present, we can speak of ‘proto-atavisms’.

    LongNow wants to shape this unstable state between past, present and future by looking for places or objects that contain multitemporality.

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"In Forward Escape into the Past, the artist is showing photographs from his two most recent projects, which are situated at the intersection of nostalgia and visionary utopia. The title of the exhibition suggests an alternative future for humanity and in so doing links the two photographic series thematically. Forward Escape into the Past can be understood as a future far removed from technological progress, in which human beings seek a connection with their past and with nature." 

 

 

- Valerie Verhack, in exhibition text for FORWARD ESCAPE INTO THE PAST at M-Museum Leuven (BE)

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Notice to the Reader - The plates of the present work are impressed by the agency of Light alone, without any aid whatever from the artist's pencil. They are the sun-pictures themselves, and not, as some persons have imagined, engravings in imitation.

A note written in The Pencil of Nature (1844-46) from William Henry Fox Talbot (1800 - 1877). The first commercially published book to be illustrated with photographs. Salt printing was the first photographic process for producing positive prints (from negatives), a technique invented by Talbot in the mid-1830s. He made what he called "sensitive paper" for "photographic drawings" by wetting a sheet of writing paper with a weak solution of ordinary table salt (sodium chloride), blotting and drying it, then brushing one side with strong solution of silver nitrate. With this same technique I made "photographic drawing", to use the words of Talbot, of the Clock of the Long Now. A clock made for the coming 10,000 years, a monument for long term thinking. A rare invitation to think and engineer at the timescale of civilization. It offers an enduring symbol of our personal connection to the distant future. To be precise, the images are made of a prototype standing in the Science museum of London, the actual clock is under construction. They are building the clock inside a mountain in West Texas. Once completed, the clock will stand 500 feet tall and will be powered by the Earth's thermal cycles.