Year: 2022-now
Exhibition: Old Street Gallery

Jiajing Zhao

Role: Creative coder

Time-flux is a generative audio-visual installation reimagining the form of time as a free flux of chaotic experiences, inspired by Henri Bergson’s concept of duration.

Since modern time-keeping technologies emerged, humanity has created an artificial time environment punctuated by mechanical contrivances and electronic pulses. Obligated to live within the standardised time system has become a common struggle. How could one ever equal ten seconds of delights to ten seconds of suffering? Henri Bergson addresses this problem with the idea of duration (durée), which focuses on the overlooked experiential dimension of time. He describes the form of time as “a bottomless, bankless river, which flows without assignable force in a direction which could not be defined.”

In the same spirit, Time-flux captures the fluidity and chaoticity of subjective experiences of time. The installation features 4 layers of transparent OLED display and a 4-channel sound collage. The fluid particles on the screens act as snapshots of the virtual entity of time. Benefiting from the transparent OLED display from LGD, the generative shapes can pulse through the space at various paces, creating an experience of flowing continuum between screens. The sound collage utilises granular and time-stretching audio processing to recreate the distortion and non-linearity experience of time perception. The core of the work is a probability system of controlled chaos, created by modular synthesisers and a computational algorithm based on the Lorenz system. It sends combinations of constantly morphing signals to influence the visual and sound generation, resulting in drifting visual and sonic outcomes.

Time-flux is our existential anthem to the overlooked experiential dimension of time beyond mechanical measurements. It is also our call for humans to look at time in another way and rethink our relationship with it.