I’ve taken a large interest in time as immaterial phenomena. The difficulity in observing time, however, is that it has rarely been observed as anything other than the passing of seconds on a clock. The device for measuring and understanding time is near perfect. We have made measuring time in that way so accurate that it feels almost irrelevant for anything other than theoretical physics. For instance today we can track time as fast as the attosecond(10?18 s) or the time needed for light to travel the length of three hydrogen atoms.
That being said, I feel that in order to create a new device for understanding time I need to look at time differently. In Tarkovsky’s “Sculpting Time” he quotes Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel The Possessed:
They won’t put it anywhere. Time isn’t a thing, it’s an idea. It’ll die out in the mind.
- F. Dostoievsky, The Possessed
This quote helped me break out of the idea that I could be build various clocks and hope to find the answer there. Time is unique to the individual. We all experience it differently based off what we’ve done. It’s similar to taking a drive out to previously unvisited destination. As you drive down the highway, over unknown roads and unfamiliar landscapes you have no way of placing yourself in time related to your destination. That first trip seems to take forever as you ask yourself “how much further?”. Maybe the anticipation of arrival is playing even further in slowing down time. A future event that lengthens you’re current present. This effect I feel is often reversed as you return. Knowing exactly where you are in time once again, you remember the landmarks and turns you need to make to return. Time regains its proper flow.
How then can a device begin to influence the individuals perception of time and eventually alter their experience? I feel that in order to slow down ones perception of time something would need to continuously change and shift. Creating a constant sense of exploration is crucial. When we are seeing things anew and exploring the unknown I believe our mind is given the opportunity to imagine again.
I was watching a movie last night that was projected onto vertical blinds. The air flow was causing them to blow around slightly and as the movie played, occasionally the blinds would blow far enough apart that a gap was created. When this happened the movie would appear to speed up. For instance, someone was walking across the screen and they would jump from blind to blind instantaneously. This was creating gaps in my understanding of what was happening. The split second that it took for them to disappear and reappear made it seem as though time was too fast for me to keep pace with.
For now I think that the idea of shifting and changing environments could be key. This and light, but possibly more so shadow.