Wednesday, August 18, 2010

0K – A Play in Five Acts

This text was the first of three connected texts published in Nowiswere 7, 8 and 9. You can download your own copy here.


On Sunday May 16, 2010, artist Per Huttner and critic and curator Fatos Ustek presented a project that oscillated between a traditional talk and a performance at the Flat Time House, Peckham, London. The location is the former residence of conceptual artist John Latham, who has devised the idea of flat-time based on the theoretical physics of Event Structure. The house functions as an archive and research centre and hosts exhibitions and events.

Ustek and Huttner have been investigating the conditions of knowledge in non-ordinary realities, taking ab- solute boundaries of time, space and temperature into account. The play merged into investigations of notions such as travel, movement, time, volume while imagining zero Kelvin (absolute zero) as a point of reference and referring it back to their respective creative practices. This text, carrying the same title as the event, is an out- come of the discussions the two have undertaken over a year on theorems of abstract mathematics, quantum mechanics, subjectivity, temporality, timelessness and knowledge.
This piece is the first of a three-part contribution, and is composed at 122K. In October Huttner and Üstek will take a trip to Minnesota, U.S., to visit Robert Ettinger, the father of cryogenics and founder of Cryogenics Institute, Michigan. This trip will form the core of the two following ‘cold’ texts.

Act 1 -At the Flat-Time House 2
The door everyone has been staring at with anticipation opens and a small hurricane of cold air hits the audience. Two figures in space suits covered by layers of strange ice crystals enter. The high-tech space suits emit strange white smoke and as the two figures move, tiny chips of ice come off their suits and burn small holes in the carpet with a low ‘pffissching’ noise. Everyone in the audience is so still that you can reach out and poke at the silence. The strange astronauts take off their helmets revealing the head of a man and a woman. They both look tired. But more than anything, they smile with great satisfaction and joy. The room is filled with applause and they hug.