Opening reception of Space-Time and gallery talk by Jorge Otero-Pailos
Thursday, Feb. 06. 2014, 5:30 PM
Keller Gallery & MIT Department of Architecture, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Room 7-408
Space-Time registers fifty years in one third of one millionth of a second exposure, a time compression proportionally equivalent in space to shrinking the Solar System into the size of an apple’s core. The photograph was produced at MIT following Harold Edgerton’s laboratory notes and with the original instruments he used in 1964, which are now museum pieces. In 2014, as in 1964, Space-Time stops the bang of a bullet piercing through the core of a McIntosh apple at Mach 2.39.
Space-Time is a work of experimental preservation, a creative process concerned with designing temporality rather than new forms. Temporality is our relationship to time, and preservation design involves articulating that relationship through physical objects, like photographs or buildings. Movement involves both time and space, and it is therefore one of the basic techniques of preservation design. Movement can be a physical or a conceptual act. Physically we can change our location in space; mentally we can project ourselves in time. Space-Time is a transitional object, meant to help us meaningfully transition between two seemingly unrelated time frames: a split second and a lifetime of fifty years.
Jorge Otero-Pailos is an architect, artist and theorist specialized in experimental forms of preservation. He earned a PhD at MIT in 2002 and is now Associate Professor of Historic Preservation in Columbia University’s GSAPP. His work rethinks preservation as a powerful countercultural practice that creates alternative futures for our world heritage. For more see: oteropailos.com