Ars Longa

Carving F at Okomato Studio

In many ways our present is future to the past.

The changes we’re seeing in our world stem from the rapid growth and expansive trade during the post-war era. Predictabilty of seasons and climate has lost its validity as the weather turns anew. Much of this unpredicatability is based on past human actions driven by deforestation, industrialization, pollution and population growth.

What is the future from such a vantage point – how can we, as artists, stage a symbolic action to encompass the idea of change? Even of thinking that the future may be lost? For many years, we’ve made artworks with extended duration and open form. These pieces can last several hours and even though they have a beginning and end, they have an ability to be open.

In the case of the ice sculptures, they go through an incredible metamorphosis from solid to liquid. We know they will disappear, but we don’t know how they will do that. What letters will vanish first or even the length of time it will take for them to melt away. They have an astounding sense of physicality, which much of us in our daily lives are largely divorced from; they have weight and scale, temperature and a sense of fragility.

Since they exist in time, there’s the need to capture their transformation and for that we use video, digital photography and other tools. The question remains: how do we enlarge their presence? How do we expand the socius of the sculpture to other audiences?

Inspired by Nam June Paik’s live TV and the pioneers of video art with closed-circuit video systems, today we’re using the internet and streaming to recapture and transmit the live event – the disappearance of the future.