Limits of Knowing

Arrival of Time

Works by Rana X. Adhikari, William Basinski, Rainer Kohlberger, Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand

Curator Isabel de Sena

Computersimulation von Gravitationswellen, die bei der Verschmelzung zweier schwarzer Löcher entstehen

Simulation of gravitational waves generated by a collision between two black holes

© Henze / NASA

On September 14, 2015 at 5:51 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors measured ripples in the fabric of spacetime – gravitational waves – arriving at the Earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe.
Announcement LIGO Caltech / MIT, 11.02.2016

For over 100 years, we have known – after Einstein – that time is an animate and inconstant physical quantity. But only theoretically: within all possible changes to the three main components of the universe – space, time & energy – the fluctuation of time is the only one that has always escaped our sensorial capacities, and forever existed exclusively in our minds. However, this situation changed dramatically on February 11th, 2016. On this date, an announcement by LIGO Caltech & MIT told the world of the first-ever detection of time-fluctuation, achieved with the help of the most sensitive machine ever to be built by humankind.

Following LIGO’s vital incentive, “Arrival of Time” is an exhibition that celebrates just that: the arrival of time in its other, more exotic guise – as an outlandishly curvaceous, pliant, and irrepressibly animate component of the universe. To approach an understanding of this paradoxical phenomenon, “Arrival of Time” turns to immersive aesthetics, through works created especially for this exhibition by Prof. Rana X. Adhikari, William Basinski, Rainer Kohlberger, and Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand. Offering experiential approaches to that which we cannot yet grasp, it stages a “Black Hole Theater”, a sensory overload of quantum fluctuations, and invites you to become acquainted with the owner of the most complex perceptual apparatuses in the animal kingdom.

The exhibition is accompanied by a Study in which visitors are welcome to linger, consult the books made available in the library, and puzzle at ease over this most perplexing of phenomena.

Organizer: Berliner Festspiele / Immersion

Isabel de Sena’s curatorial research was made possible with kind support of The Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery – Cultural Affairs.

“Arrival of Time” takes place in cooperation with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM).

caltech     IQIM     LIGO

The curator thanks The Art and Technology Program & the Center for Integrated Media (CIM) at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), AxS Residency at the Pasadena Arts Council (PAC), the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at the ArtCenter College of Design, Shed Research Institute, and the Virgo interferometric gravitational wave detector of the European Gravitational Observatory (EGO).

With the support of U.S. Embassy Berlin

U.S. Embassy Berlin