Variable Time Percepts and the Approaching Vanishing Point



Download additional audio portion here: Please note that these tracks are intended for playback on headphones in random/shuffle mode (and repeat-all mode).


My installation explores the multi-dimensional phenomenon of time. The work intends to illustrate the methods we use to manipulate our sense of time, and to encourage the recognition of our own temporal experience amidst the influences of objective time and non-linear time. I believe that the ability to control our temporal experience is becoming increasingly important within the context of contemporary society, given our detachment with the natural world, increased interaction with technology, passivity amidst the influences of non-linear or cinematic time, and the assigned economic value of our time. These things seem to have accelerated the pace of time, but by realizing the malleability of time, we might be better equipped to self-regulate our experience of it.

I have created an environment that enables us to actively examine our perception of time. The work highlights this perception through sound elements build around audio illusions, including Risset/Shepard tones, Phantom Words and the Tritone Paradox. It also uses sound recordings of reenacted first-hand accounts of individuals demonstrating how they shape time, taken from interviews found in Textures in Time by Michael G. Flaherty.

These elements co-exist with various objects and two channels of video: one representing objective time, the other representing non-linear time. The emergence of a vanishing point emphasizes our limited time in human form. It appears to end at the limits of our perception, but implies an infinite continuation beyond our perception.


These two excerpts are from an installation I completed in the Spring of 2012 for a class called Projects in Experimental Media and Music at The Evergreen State College. The video portion was projected as a large looped video image on a wall in a dark room, with its soundtrack played back through a large speaker system. An additional audio portion of the installation contained 63 tracks for playback in random/shuffle mode (and repeat-all mode), designed for headphones. Open-ear headphones were placed in front of a mirror, opposite to the wall containing video playback. A separate component to the video piece looped a fragment of the main video in slow motion.

This video was edited down from original footage shot from the inside of my apartment through a sliding glass door on an old DV camera, with the vanishing point added in Adobe After Effects. The soundtrack is generated from a modular synthesizer (bells, ticking, end sequence), a Micromoog (bird sounds), voice and Max/MSP (Shepard tone), recorded/edited in ProTools, with sequencing done on a Kawai R-100 drum machine. The headphone audio piece was created with voice and an analog modular (rhythmic interludes and voice processing), recorded/edited/processed in ProTools. The voice parts are quotes from the book Textures in Time by Michael G. Flaherty. Most of these tracks are iterations of reenacted interviews I performed in different voices, in an effort to transcend the utter boredom I experienced while reading them.