I created this clock based on T. S. Eliot's “Four Quartets,” which explores the idea of time being eternally present, or “Time present and time past / Are both perhaps present in time future, / And time future contained in time past.” The first poem “Burnt Norton” depicts everything in constant flux, questioning how to be present when time is constantly moving and the present is always what just was the future and just will be the past. It embraces paradox to depict the dialectic nature of time, lived experience, and deeper philosophic questions about meaning of time. In my creative work to explore this idea, I chose to create a split screen dance to illustrate the interaction between Eliot’s dual natures of time. I intended the choreography for each side of the screen to both reflect and contrast, highlighting the theme of echo in T.S. Eliot’s work, where all time is a repetition of other times and has a reverberation or continuing effect. This dichotomy of being the same and yet new drove me to explore my next “clock” entitled “November 2020: Looptime”.
When I try to stay present in the “now” am I denying time’s interconnectedness or honoring its ever-changing nature?
Showing resource: October 2020: Time Past and Time Future
Choreography, dance, and video editing by Allison Costa
Music: “Solid Rain” theme by An Pierlé, “Kojin no Shi” by Senju Akira
Text: excerpt from T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets” book 1 “Burnt Norton” read by Jeremy Irons