"The Measure" is an on-going series that adapts the poem by Robert Creeley of the same name. I use the text as a jumping off point to construct a meditation on our perception of time. The poem, while simple and straightforward in it’s structure, is deceivingly complex in the ideas it sparks. Creeley speaks about being caught in the time, as measurement, unable to move back or forth. It presents the notion of being captured, of existing as a prisoner in it's never-ending stream, and it also implies that it is ourselves who ultimately create time (and our imprisoment to it), by thinking and reflecting upon it. That time does not pertain to things in themselves but is a form of perception of the humand mind.
This would certainly correspond with the philosophical ideas of time, and of the existence of a “noumenal” reality, which would be, a reality outside the veil of phenomena, without time.
Unconcious mental processes are in themselves timeless, there is nothing corresponding to the idea of time in them.
Noumenal reality would be, the time of nature, a timeless form of existence, in eternity.
This would make history (and the history of time) into the history of men, as the two are entwined in an unavoidable loop.
The point could be made then that the human mind pits itself against the nature of the universe in an eternal confrontation, which can only result in the death of the invidivual, but also in the constant propagation of the concept of time across generations.
As I began to think of time as men vs. nature, I reflected on how we come to understand the passage of time, which we most commonly associate with time past; moments, objects, structures that have left traces, scars of their passage through time, like an imprint.
Although we may comprehend time as a continuous process, our way of living it is inescapably straight-forward, a kind of line, which moves only one way, forward. This way of living time in a past present tense, brings forth a very powerful feeling of nostalgia, since we can only reflect on what’s gone, what time has somehow taken away.
My main interest with the images is to convey and conjure this yearning that time itself creates on us, by also functioning as visions from a phantom presence, as if they were taken from the perspective of entity that's not part of the material world, but rather, a spirit, moving along with the stream.
The poem reads:
I am caught
in the time
What we think
of we think of-
of no other reason
we think than
just to think
each for himself."