Notes from: Open Time, Dinner

September 12, 2011

by Trudy

Two tables joined across from a breakfast in Denmark and a dinner in New Zealand.

Though a structural element of our everyday, the concept of time abounds with aporia (puzzles) once picked apart by physics, psychology, philosophy and cultural comparison, revealing the socio-political. Einstein thought that the time at your head, was different to the time at your feet – that all time is relative. Recent quantum physics discusses it’s form as clusters of time, while many cultures believe it to be cyclical rather than linear.

In order to reveal these scientific and cultural aporia, this event explored the format of inviting an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas across time and space – from a dinner table at House of Wonder in Miranda New Zealand, to a breakfast table at Platform 4 in Aalborg, Denmark. In Denmark, the event was being held as part of the weekend festival of Platform4.0. Future Meeting Hub #1.

A video is shared that was created during the workshop, to demonstrate different psychological effects of time.

Two workshops prior were held in each country, both dealing with the opening up of time. The workshop in Denmark was facilitated by Olof Werngren (SE) and in New Zealand by The Keeper, Trudy Lane. All dinner/breakfast guests were invited to bring along their own ‘wonders’, as they relate to the topic of the evening. Short self-introductions and statement were requested from each of the participants during the evening, some of which has been documented below.

» See video documentation below      
» See newspaper story, Waikato Times
– 27 Sep 2011, Page 5
» See original invitation


A view of the guests in New Zealand at House of Wonder, as seen by Platform 4 guests.

Event Guests

House of Wonder, New Zealand – Tony Burns, Amateur Astronomer; Mike Dickison, Evolutionary Biologist; Raewyn Turner, Artist; Brian Harris, Filmmaker; Chris Davison, Inventor; Marcos, Microbiologist; Keith Woodley, Miranda Shorebird Centre; Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath, Artist and AUT Lecturer; AUT Art Students Tresa Kendrick, Luke Golds, Ryan; Ben Courtier, Network Administrator; Trudy Lane, The Keeper; Jim Byrt, The Keeper’s Keeper.

Platform 4, Denmark – Olof Werngren, pseudonostalgiker; Vanessa Carpenter, Geekphysical; Dzl, Geekphysical; Christian Liljedahl, Illutron; Christian Villum, Platform4; Michelle Thorne, Mozilla Drumbeat; Henrik Chulu, Freelance consultant; Majken Overgaard, curator and creative host at everybodyknowsfrank.


Media Excerpts from the Shared Dinner

Below are some excerpts from the evening event to give a sense of the nature of the exchange and the ideas discussed. This video was taken as a record only, and so the visual is here compressed, so that the audio can be better represented.

Getting started…

Open Time – getting started from House of Wonder on Vimeo. A dinner table at House of Wonder in Miranda New Zealand, connects across to a breakfast table at Platform 4 in Aalborg, Denmark. People in both spaces come into view, wave, and a sneeze in New Zealand gets a hearty ‘bless you’ in Denmark. The two social spaces are now joined.

Report on New Zealand workshop…

Open Time – NZ workshop from House of Wonder on Vimeo. Evolutionary biologist Mike Dickison gives an overview of the workshop held that morning in New Zealand, for the joint event of Open Time, with Platform 4 in Denmark.

Report on Denmark workshop…

Open Time – DK workshop from House of Wonder on Vimeo. Olof Werngren, artist and leader of a workshop on the topic of time, the previous evening, shows and discusses the videos created during the Denmark workshop for the joint event. Held as a part of the larger event, Platform4.0. Future Meeting Hub #1.

Trudy and Majken give a summary of the concepting behind the shared space part of the event…

Open Time – sharing space concept from House of Wonder on Vimeo. Trudy Lane and Majken Overgaard discuss their meeting at Slowflow 2010, a canoe trip down the Whanganui river in New Zealand, and how this social space is being continued in the interest in experimentation with a sharing space across timezones.

Dzl on the spooky accuracy of atomic clocks…

Open Time – Dzl on atomic clocks from House of Wonder on Vimeo. Dzl relates the experience of getting shivers down his spine as he witnesses the accuracy of time synchronisation kept across atomic clocks thousands of miles apart.

Tony discusses the paradox of time for astronomers…

Open Time – Tony on the timelessness of photons from House of Wonder on Vimeo. Engineer and amateur astronomer Tony Burns shares his wonder at the paradoxes of time, from an astronomers point of view. The timelessness of photons which ‘go-splat’ on his telescope lens make up his view back in time to see the cosmic background radiation from the big bang, only visibly reaching us now after 10 billion years.

Vanessa plays with time, space and the minds of nightclub patrons by swopping restroom signs around…

Open Time – Vanessa from House of Wonder on Vimeo. Vanessa discusses playing with the perception and social expectations of time and space by swopping the ‘mens’ and ‘womens’ bathroom signs around.

Olof (artist) reflects on an encounter with a village with a cyclical sense of time …

Open Time – Olof on cyclical time from House of Wonder on Vimeo. Olof reflects on his experience of the cyclical perception of time in a nearby village, as it related to their ideas on life and death.

Luke (AUT art student) discusses the novel Slaughterhouse 5 and the formation of a Time Travellers convention…

Open Time – Luke, Time Traveller conventions and Slaughterhouse 5 from House of Wonder on Vimeo. Luke, one of three AUT arts students present, discusses the novel Slaughterhouse 5 and his interest to develop a time travellers convention. Olof recounts the horror with which our form of linear time is described in the novel, by planetary beings who conceive of 4-dimensions.

David (biologist) reflects on the lineages of ancestory we all share …

Open Time – David, Biologist from House of Wonder on Vimeo. Biologist David Riddell relates about his own family history and how his discipline has made him acutely aware of the huge continuity of ancestory that we all share. Trudy Lane follows up, explaining and reflecting on the introduction process at the SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens event, and the effect of scientists relating their ancestry back to sponges in the context of a hui / Maori meeting space.