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

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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.

Submission #19 Patrick Holmes

What we accept gives us peace, but strips us of power. Life cycle, spiral the tunnel of time from nothing to everything and back again, moving forward stripped of all that is here and was there, but the cycle remains the same, those were close now are far, to come back again, or to remain. A faith betrayed seven by seven times over, but in this spiral moving forward to repeat the same, without remorse, we are who we are and in fighting it we only become that what we resist.

7 stripped of innocence as deemed that forever, Diagnosis disorder medicated to pacify the different into subdued normality. Stand on the step with the door closed, to fit in with those who do not. Surely this environment will shape this jigsaw to be a proud piece in the wall. There is no innocence in a sinful child, thus they may not contaminate those around them, a hidden truth of human nature, inconvenient to accept. A raging fire that must be extinguished, may it light not a flame in the eyes of the deserved.

14 to know the implications, the death that would not come, to many who tried to enter its depths, unsuccessful, or uncommitted. Return to the blackness for you are a wound in the eyes of the father, an imperfect creation, shamed, and cast out. You created the scar I carry, so shall you carry the same, for you created yourself imperfectly, said the father, now I shall sacrifice my blood, to punish you. Let these wounds speak for your sin and shall you remain unforgiven. Only the Shepard can save only the deserved.

21 to know the depths of depravity in this world you are condemned; extinguish the brightest light, for it is imperfect. May you see the darkness that surrounds you, the fire that lights you up is sin, condemned again, for you shall not return, this spiral is too wide to feel the centre again. This centre shall you witness as you orbit around never again in the same space and time. In the centre innocence you will never witness. Tainted and estranged this world you are condemned to, you chose by your imperfect creation. Suffer for forgiveness, a long wait for a train that never comes, treat unto those more deserved, for they deserve it. Intention is a matter for those deserved, but sin is of those who don’t.

28 a circle so wide offset from the deserved. Faith is for the condemned, for only they feel the cold. Wander the earth in isolation the only inclusion of this world; for many lost souls will pass by. For one with mother earth you should respect the deserved, their fear of the depths, and restrict themselves from sin. It takes the strong to do good and the strong to do evil. But the strong must suffer for they can handle the burden, but the deserved must not, for they are the flock and he is truly the Shepard, he is the farmer, for their products they are of value, but for their humanity they are of inconvenience. To keep the wolves from the door, you must be the deserved, but choose no flock, born a puppy dog, to become a wolf or a Shepard, and take the fruits of thy labour, for the flock are given grass, and create wool and meat, deserved victims of their own acceptance, what we accept gives us peace, but strips us of power.

Submission # 18 David Chu

TIME MILLIPEDE

Time. A meal you devour one bite at a time, a meal you devour one bite at a time, meal you devour one bite at a time, meal you devour one bite at a time…

If we experienced time all at once, if I lived my entire life in a single frozen moment. I would be like a millipede, each moment in time, segment, limbs one in front of the other, slithering my way around my own perceivable reality seeking the path but already having walked it. For all of eternity. Or until the path stops and the millipede is beheaded.

When an event occurs, a violent event, whether physical or emotional, energy is released as force, light, sound, heat, cold and others unperceivable to the human senses, perhaps it is when these energies travel along the millipede like an electric signal along the nervous system that allow the few to hear ghosts of the past or echoes of the future.

Of course, the millipede is not alone in his endevour, I will cross paths with others, intertwining with theirs. Often momentarily, sometimes intrinsically. The writhing colony of millipedes, walking with or over each other creates a network of connections like neurons in the brain.

Only through that connection can we even begin to see ourselves as a single consciousness, a single mind. And only then we learn to work as one, to dream as one, to move forward as one. Maybe even meet one other. And perhaps go for a coffee.

Submission #17 Amanda Vaughan

away with you
bloody windowpane;
free the blinds that
close
half way each night to
open
half way each morning
there are far too many windows to this house
light shines thin through shafts
shot             like marbles from branches
of sun spun gold
it seems so far and unfamiliar
the buds of little kids in woods
stars that guide their souls
a token of life
where midges fly
they dote in lingering light
stagnant pit ball dash
stares back
back to back
brick on top in tow
with yesterday’s sorrow
sympathy is an evil thing
it slithers tracking the throat
drooling all thought          out
open the sun shines through  out
all gone green reverse
lingers inn
a homely name
a path.
with a picket fence and
no direction of whither next
a section. time
sequel unrefined

Long shot

long drive away from home
exercise my rights
I’m a woman    just like you
remember
stretch each cartridge pin
seagull strings
along the shoreline
posted for the glide
to breath in salt is to thin the trachea
dispels the glue
commuting thoughts
their distance tells of time
skin the kill
gut the race
brace yourself to
taste the sweetness
wonder waiting time
“I’m vision introspection”
so out of the blue
dispensing sound
a clearing heard by you
story warning
wary reels a fraction moment longer
striking resemblance
strikes me down
Continuum
hinged onto the courtyard that clasps
each rusty padlock
keys only wind awake eyes
flints reflect introspection
thick slices of time
flicked from the lips
sweet powdery
glisten out for jealousy
spelling its misty tale
separating each consonant
with those gestured speech marks
cheeks inverted to commas
a thousand line lashes
the memory pours black ink
got ladders and yet to climb
each post wrapped fist
confirms a fall
a wall away from goodbye
high on wintery heights
the lofty polishing kneading moment
calls through course over course
of an evening
balancing every knife
time
spinning thin
and sieving through short
a vision a future sighted
fails         forms a stream of  think
molecule sentence draws further

Ra (by the power of 100)

eyes all even
lock  intertwined
left fluidity             reason
for all a vision of future
failing forming
culture reclined
each bearing
her blasphemous heat
it trails a thousand years
“tell me daughter
            why d’you do it?”
each contour calls
the eye
compliance dies
at the hands of her equal
(prequel to destruction)
map each rupture
guided by skies
territories to the mine
their circular
claws those curious eyes
embracing locks show her
in define
onlooker non compliance
fists bear the couriers crust
pride braces for justice
courting elopes a hop spirit taste
for horus pouring amulet