The installation of “Time Enough” presents my yearlong post-baccalaureate creative research project studying our perception and experience of time through dance and technology. “Time Enough” is composed of 10
smaller-scale experiments (or “clocks,” if you will) each depicting a different element of my research about perceiving and interpreting time. The layering and juxtaposition of these “clocks” points to a deeper narrative about time and its fluidity depending on context and perspective.
Using immersive and interactive projection, you can walk through, sit, or dance with the projected “clock”
exhibit pieces of “Time Enough.” The goal of this installation is not only to present my creative research, but also to display and celebrate the unique way each person interprets time by inviting you to interact with the “clocks.” The research presented in this installation does not conclude in answers, but in questions, since there is no “right” way of experiencing this exhibit or time itself. The goal is simply to spend some time considering how you experience time. Perhaps just by taking time here and now, you will change your experience of it. I know my perception of time has definitely changed due to my research.
Credit for production, choreography, dance, computer code, videography, photography, editing, poetry, text, collage, and sound design: Allison Costa, unless otherwise specified
December 2019-April 2021: Art Journal
October 2020-April 2021: Seasonal Time December 2019-April 2021: Compilation
July 2020: Time and Space
September 2020: Time Perspective
October 2020: Time Past and Time Future November 2020: Looptime
November 2020: Sensing Time
January 2021: Crystal of Time
February 2021: Grand Narratives
February 2021: Time as Self
December 2019-April 2021:
I began my creative research by
starting an artist’s journal, in
addition to my private
journaling practice. This journal
helped keep track of resources,
references, and thoughts. About
once a month I created a collage
(which is the part of the journal I
have chosen to share) to reflect
on my research and my recent experience of time.
Collectively, they illuminate the larger narrative of my research and help place it in the context of the time when it was created.
How can time function not only as part of the content or subject matter but also as a medium through which I explore and understand life?
October 2020-April 2021:
This clock represents my
research on how our
internal clocks, that
dictate our perception and
experience of time,
interact with external
natural factors (like seasons and weather), which are themselves clocks. These photographs were taken on my walks to and from work. This routine, which enabled the durational element of this experiment, is in many ways like an individualized clock. The regularity and consistency of a routine provides a measured timing.
The pictures of this experiment illustrate changes in my internal clock of routine in comparison to changes in the external clock of nature.
What can I do to not be blinded to nature’s clocks when so many of my routines where built without regard or even purposefully against them?
December 2019-April 2021:
This clock is the composite of
all my “clocks,” placed in
chronological order and
played at 5x speed. The order
is important as it provides
insight into the process of my
research. The speed helps
direct focus to the process rather than the completed form of each individual clock, since much of my research linked one’s perception of time to one’s understanding of sequence and context. It also demonstrates that, while all of my experiments are clocks, when compiled the full project is also a clock, whose intervals provide a method for measuring my creative research and indicate my personal journey around and through time. In this way, my research project keeps time.
How do I maintain and measure my awareness of time now that I have completed this project?
Time and Space
Music: “Can U Not” by Okay
Code created using ml5’s
PoseNet machine learning
This clock focuses on the
relationship between Time
and Space. Exploring concepts of Einstein’s famous theory of spacetime, known technically as tensor mathematics, I used PoseNet, a pose estimation software using TensorFlow.js, for my autoethnographic research on how our experience of time changes when moving within or beyond boundary boxes. This felt particularly apt during a time when many of us were mostly homebound.
If the relative nature of space and time is due to the 7
entanglement of their perception, how is my perception related to the time and space I inhabit?
This clock explores
how one’s sense of time
changes based on
layering is to
changes in perspective can either be an individual’s perspective over time or a result of interacting with other people or forces. I chose the overhead view to illustrate the depth of time or perhaps the perspective of time itself. As Byung-Chul Han states in “The Scent of Time,” “Time deepens vertically instead of stretching along the horizontal narrative path.” The echoing quality of my dancing body, however, breaks up the temporal and narrative continuity, as events no longer have a 8
clear sequence and the past and future of the dance are all being shown in the present. This is what Byung-Chul Han calls “time without scent” or “non-time,” which he attributes to the growing atomization of life and identity, especially with the rise of technology. These factors complicate people’s ability to maintain or change their temporal perspectives.
How can I know what is limiting my perspective when my understanding is limited by my perspective?
Time Past and Time Future
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
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 9
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?
This clock was inspired
by a performance
entitled “Soundz at the
Back of My Head” by
which DeFrantz coined
the term “looptime,” describing it as “repetition with a difference or the ever-changing same (but always different).” Using PoseNet pose estimation software, I experimented to try to understand how our perception of movement, which is intrinsically related to time, changes through the filter of applied technology. The PoseNet footage is a repeated dance phrase, where the choreography itself creates a loop, exploring how our experience of motion (and thus time) changes depending on the moment and the lens through which we see it.
This makes time circular rather than linear and suggests 11
that temporal tension created by clearly designating a timeline of past, present, and future (lauded by much of my research as the way to find meaning in time) is an individualistic perspective on a greater cyclical vision of time where all pasts, presents, and futures can relate and build upon one another.
How do I need to shift my thinking to value to the same extent re-mixing and innovation?
Music and visuals created
with “Trope” by Brian
Eno and Peter Chilvers
Utilizing a sound creation
app by Brian Eno and Peter
Chilvers entitled “Trope,” I
created a soundscape based
on timed visuals and then
danced to the soundscape. I layered these recordings to 12
explore how my perception of time changed based on what senses I was using: sight, sound, touch, and proprioception. Since perception is the process by which the brain selects, organizes, and interprets sensory feedback, I decided to compare how (some of) my sensory receptors interacted with time-based input.
How do I stay conscious to the passing of time when sensation is innate?
Crystal of Time
Music: “Says” by Nils
I created this clock to
explore the idea of time
as a crystal. A very
of a time crystal is a 4-
dimentional theoretical model in physics. One’s experience of a crystal changes based on one’s 13
orientation in relation to the crystal as well as in a larger context, such as the time of day, which all affect how the crystal’s reflected and transmitted light will appear.
Similarly, one’s experience of time changes based on one’s relation to time and one’s larger context; age, history, future plans, perspective, etc. all affect how time is perceived.
How much of my research reflects more intrinsic elements of time and how much is influenced by who I am and my current context?
Music created with
“Virtual Piano” by
Harkening back to the
“October 2020: Time
Past and Time Future,” this clock used the split-screen to 14
explore the idea of “grand narratives,” which kept popping up in my research. A “grand narrative” is a contextualization of the past, present, and future that affects our understanding of and relationship to a bigger sense of time than our individual lifetimes. The temporal tension of “grand narrative” was proposed as a solution to “non-time” (mentioned in “September 2020: Time Perspective”), which is created by the atomization of time due to increasingly radical individualization, and leads to the perception of time accelerating or, more accurately, speeding without direction due to lack of narrative. So, for this experiment, I took a poem I wrote about time, turned the text into sound using software for electronically composing music, and experimented with how the narrative affected my movement. The split-screen was important to reference theories about the origins of time, where time evolution seems to come straight out of symmetries and singularities in the cosmos. Tying my individual, written narrative to a larger narrative about time’s origins deepened my 15
creative exploration into how a bigger contextualization changes one’s experience of time.
How do I balance my desire for independence and personal narrative with my belief in global-thinking community and mutual aid?
Time as Self
Music: “Zerzura” by Parviz
Co-created with Feli
Navarro and Siya
Umlilo Ngcobo as part
of e¯lektron.art’s 2021
global online residency
In this clock I investigated
how sense of time is related to sense of self. Since people have finite lifetimes and with that an intrinsic internal timing, some of my research equated one’s perception of self to one’s perception of time. What one spends time on determines what one’s lifetime is built upon. This draws into focus the direct relationship between how 16
one understands what they do as part of who they are, with how one understands and experiences time. For this experiment I focused on parts of my daily life to illustrate how not only my perception of time but also my lifetime so far is reflected in how I spend my time each day.
Is my perception of self determined by what I perceive to spend my time on or by the actual quantity of time I spend?
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Allison Costa is a dancer,
creative technologist, and
multi-media artist based in
New York City. Her
interdisciplinary practice is
collaborative, as it embraces
tenets of emergent strategy,
glitch feminism, and the
risk/recovery practice of
improvisation. Allison actively explores the possibilities in uniting the two universal languages of dance and technology with the hope of bridging the gap between these two symbiotic fields.
Allison graduated in 2019 with a double major in Dance and Computer Science from Barnard College of Columbia University, with additional training from University of South Florida’s Dance in Paris Program in France, and the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia.
Currently working at Barnard’s Movement Lab as a Post-Baccalaureate Fellow, Allison is grateful to have collaborated with a wide range of artists, and is always interested in exploring new pathways and partnerships for creative experimentation.
For more information go to https://allisoncosta.com/
ABOUT THE MOVEMENT LAB
The Movement Lab is designed for experimentation and exploration at the intersection of dance, performance, and technology. It is a flexible modular space for movement research, exploration, production, collaboration, and interdisciplinary interaction. The Lab’s trans-media function serves to enhance critical thinking and learning through body and brain connection as it seeks to explore emerging trajectories in art, science, and technology.
The Movement Lab is committed to being an open environment, welcoming anyone interested in the interaction between arts and technology. As we strive to reduce the barriers of entry to this space, we feel it is important to state our resolve for inclusion of all people regardless of ability, age, race or sexual orientation. We look to our community to help us build an explorative and more accessible environment.
For more information go to
“Time Enough” was created under the auspices of Barnard College Movement Lab’s Post
Baccalaureate Fellowship program and with the resources and support of the Movement
Lab team, namely Gabri Christa and Guy de Lancey.
Special thanks to Gabri Christa and Guy de Lancey: I am so lucky to benefit from your mentorship, advice, and care. The environment you foster in the Movement Lab allowed me to dive into and pursue this creative research through all its twists and turns, and has helped me grow both as an artist and as an individual. I am so grateful for everything you have done for me. This research has taught me about the value of time, and I am forever thankful for the time I have had with both of you.
Additional thanks and love to my parents and brother for their support, patience, and endless encouragement.
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