The Master Poem

The Master Poem is a text compiled of the writing of all the people who submitted work to the KAIROS project. It was painted onto the KAIROS wheel and Stefanie’s body during the live performance over the course of 3.5hrs by Loren.

KAIROS

I offer my words and my wits and my worth,

Reclined amongst ruins before the Abyss

A token of life, this stoic vibration

The key to the Revelation that we resist.

Brace yourself child, the centre you witness,

Imperfect creation with mind still sleek.

Memory pours ink in a secret location,

Each rupture a map, the arrow we seek.

Icy winds are looming, the land is not growing,

The monotone drone starts to lengthen each hour

Hurtling through space in a broken down kingdom,

Ripped free on a giant rock scorched by our power.

Tethered and tilting each contour calls

Four walls collapse, its a conscious choice.

Time all at once as the energy flows,

Moving in cycles, defining your voice.

The Great Eye of Ice, bedeviling the blind,

And the bound looked up at the sky and saw black.

With Seven veils for Seven heavens,

Beckoning the bold as the ghosts retreat back.

I wonder which way I would like to face

Hands grasp, wings beat, my breathing slows.

All my knowledge is that of a moth

On the edge of wakefulness, the memory grows.

Forceful in its stride, the blushing of nature,

‘Come’ she said, ‘We have work to do’.

Great power flows through her, hidden within me,

‘Magician be quick or you will die too’.

Viciously circular are the echoes of the future,

Resist frozen moments, the suffocating cycles,

Dreaming of magic is the truth of human nature,

Ascending and descending, all riding time’s spiral.

Channels appear and spheres surge through years,

Light floods the cells as a wild dance spins,

Through root and branch we swim in silver

Endless seas now under our skin.

Facing the sun between snow topped goliaths,

Clan Chief stands on the speaking stone.

‘Summon the Goddess, your gods grow tired

Of fighting the knowledge with knives of bone.

Worship her slowly, with the dance, the drum,

The writing in her temple of shells and debris

The darkness is leaving, soon we’ll light the fires.

Do not wait for death to set you free.’

Written in red, shapes glimpsed through destruction

A lithe lupine creature of sun-spun gold.

She gleams once again when twilight dawns

A vision of the future, a sight to behold.

The Cogs Are Turning

The time is fast approaching and the wheels are well and truly turning.

Keep your eyes peeled for an interview with Loren and Stef in Friday’s edition of the MEN all about the KAIROS project.

Here’s the original Syncreon, a wrist watch sized time piece and smaller version of the wheel soon be displayed at Cornerhouse – 31st January – 12pm – 5pm (approx)

FREE LIVE ART EVENT

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Photo by Jody Hartley – Concept & Design by Loren Fetterman – Co-Designed & Crafted by Fraser Simpson

KAIROS IN EFFECT

By Loren Fetterman 

Kairos is an artistic representation of an intuition that many of us feel, but few have purposefully explored. We often sense that time moves in cycles more subtle than those we follow by the calender and clock. Unlikely events unfold as if by fate to teach us the same lessons again and again, and profound experiences separated by vast periods of time seem mysteriously connected, as if we’d returned to the same nexus of meaning further along the temporal spiral. Much of our great art, music and literature are epic illustrations of these invisible webs of meaning. Many religious cosmologies are also framed by this cyclical conception of time, including the Hindu model of the four yugas, the Mayan baktuns, Buddhist concepts of karma and re-incarnation, and the enigmatic system of the IChing often linked with Taoism. The popularity of astrology in our modern age is testament to how strongly this intuition is felt among many people, persisting even when vehemently opposed by the common scientific worldview. The same can be said of systems of divination, such as the casting of runes, throwing the IChing, or the reading of Tarot cards. All are linked by the idea that the past and future are somehow present now, and can be read like a text if only we learn the forgotten language of symbols.

These cycles of time are often experienced not only as recurring themes woven throughout the narrative of our lives, but also as stages of development that we move through as we grow and mature. Whether observing the growth of a young child, a romantic relationship, or the first centuries of a civilization, we commonly accept that there are certain stages that make up a healthy process of development. Likewise, many systems of spiritual practice provide detailed maps of states and stages that the seeker will progress through on their path towards enlightenment or awakening. The Kabbalistic Tree of Life, Buddhist maps of meditation progress, and alchemical allegories of the journey of the soul all illustrate paths of development reflective of the particular teachings of each. While few of us ever begin such rigorous mental training, to the extent that we strive for anything we can be said to be on a path, and our victories and defeats often feel like familiar plot twists in anticipation of our final goal.

The word Kairos refers to a concept developed in ancient Greece, when these ideas were more widely accepted as principles. While it was most commonly used by rhetoricians to refer to the opportune moment during which to deliver a particular argument, usually in the courtroom, it has it roots in the arts of weaving and archery, where it signified the creation of an opening and the right time to strike. The word also came to mean ‘weather’ and ‘times’. It is used approximately 81 times in the New Testament, such as when Jesus says to a crowd, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say ‘It is going to rain’; and so it happens…You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time (the kairos)?”

One might answer that it is because we lack a suitable language. It seems counter intuitive to attempt to develop a terminology capable of referring to the infinite range of occurrences that might make up particular ‘kinds of time’. And yet we have one word for the vast array of objects that we refer to as ‘chairs’. This is possible because we group chairs by the function that they serve, we sit in them. So too, traditions throughout history have attempted to group the events that make up different ‘kinds of time’ by their fundamental effects or function, claiming that there exists not only ‘a time to reap and a time to sow’, but also a time to marry, a time to learn, to teach, to make war or peace, and so on.

The performance of Kairos is a presentation of one such language. More precisely, it presents an alphabet, discovered and developed over a number of years by paying close attention to apparent cyclical patterns in time. Each letter of this alphabet, and the words spelled from these letters, was experienced as a meditative trial, a paradox of opposing perspectives that had to be unified before the next letter could be learned. While these trials can be extremely challenging, the completion of each frees us from fundamental illusions that sap our energy and cloud our perceptions.

This alphabet will painted onto a ten foot timepiece made of four large wheels which will spin at different speeds during the performance, signifying the cycles that we experience as we pass under the influence of each letter. A woman will be mounted to the front wheel, spinning upside down again and again over a number hours, exhibiting the endurance required to learn the lessons of each cycle and thereby acquire this new language. A mandala will be painted across her and the wheel, representing the language’s logical structure and its relationship to the body. A poem constructed from fragments of submitted pieces of writing on the theme of transformations, cycles and time will then be written over the mandala, unifying the experiences of Kairos in the lives of individuals into a single voice. Finally, she will step down from the timepiece, adorned and transformed.

Loren Fetterman and Stefanie Elrick’s previous performance, Written in Skin, presented a form of immediate language, expressed through the natural responses of the naked body as poetry was etched into skin using a tattoo machine. Kairos draws our focus from the immediacy of language to its potential in describing transformational processes rather than single things or events, and connections of meaning rather than of causality.

Kairos will be performed at 12pm at the Cornerhouse, Manchester on January 31st, 2015, as part of the Cornerhouse’s ongoing Playtime exhibition. The timepiece will be on display after the performance and during the following day.

Submission #20 Laura McGee & Paul Stranger

Tethered and Tilting

In the garden
honesty and fate dance.
A wild dance,
a dance of thieves.
Viciously circular
the pair spiral round a stolen heart,
dance to its beat.
Slave they are to it.

At the edge of the garden
beyond the gate,
sin watches.
Empty chest. Laboured breath.
Coveted
Tethered
Tilting
Towards the dance
Towards the circle

There are no angles of escape here.

And so

At the end of the garden,
inside a circle of blood danced footprints,
a stolen heart beats.

Slower.

Leaking. Loosing.
But at this time choosing.