Duration – Final Project

Duration :: putting Forward Notions of Time-space Relativity through Life Forms

Duration is created with the single cellular organism Euglena. The aim of the piece is to artistically convey the notion of time and it’s relatedness to Cartesian rhythms, juxtaposing the anthropocentric point of view with the greater notion of life on earth.









Time measures space. As beautiful as it sounds, logic always only relates to a given point of reference, leaving out – in order to be ‘pure’ logic – all the other points of reference. Of course, one might continue to set one reference against the other…
Our world is entering a chapter in which we can avoid the dichotomy between man and nature. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, certainly.

As life goes on, we accumulate experiences of space related to the material conditions and events that our human sensors detect. These we keep as memories. Also influenced by light conditions. In clear daylight I can estimate the dimensions by eye. In the dark, I am lost. I can only try to feel my way across a space, but the obstacles I encounter make the space bigger because they enlarge the time-span that I need to cross from one point to another. So duration offers a much more complex tool for measurement.


Duration is pseudo-utilitarian object, inviting the viewer to broaden their perspective of time as an absolute, and invite humble thoughts regarding the time scale of other life forms in which we stem from. Time is a flux, and humanity has chosen to measure it in relation to space – the shadow of the dial moving graciously and systematically around the Euglena reminds us of our artificial constructs, which notion is pushed further as the object emits light nighttime. We have always made a stark distinction between night and day, and








A self-contained object that makes things inclusive rather than exclusive, generate energy, light and space. When you look at this object you seem to be looking at the bigger picture. We are attempting to anticipate the object’s possible impact on the atmosphere and how it will be to live with and around it. It is a balance between nature and technology. It tells time through life and central to the object’s life is a single cellular organism: Euglena.

As organisms that go through photosynthesis they put forward the idea of a self-contained living ‘thing’ that blends with its environment and responds to the cycle of life. The object lives outside during the ‘day’ creating shapes and patterns of Euglena conglomerations over time, visible to the naked eye through the green color. The coupling of the sundial aesthetic and function with the solar energy system create an interesting and direct allegory to the nature of the Euglena. It functions similar to the living matter.

IMG_3443The 12 miniature solar cells grab the energy from the sun and store it into lithium ion rechargeable batteries to use it during nighttime. The circuit enables the powering of the light feature and therefor lights up softly during the night to keep the Euglena happy and well. Nature and technology are in osmosis and live in this spatiotemporal piece, putting forward notions of time-space relativity by creating a self- sustainable timepiece. The technical aspects where designed to be subtle, shining through the translucent Plexiglass; they evidently demonstrate their purpose without distraction.

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Time lapse video – vimeo :: this video is a time lapse of the project shot on the rooftop of Genspace : New York City’s Community Biolab

in collaboration with Fabiola Einhorn

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