Graham Milton - New York AS3 Flash Development

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Be the curve

This post is going to be about time.

More presicely, about being a sentient creature occupying an environment consisting of 4 dimensions (3 spatial, 1 temporal. aka Spacetime), while only being able to actively percieve 3. It will, of course, be pure conjecture. Sorry. My mind has just been wandering lately & I thought it might be productive if I tried to put it all down some place.

(I appreciate Muybridge’s work & understand that this may be poor or gratuitous usage, but hey what the hell… I wanted to take a time lapse video of myself typing this out, but didn’t have the equipment.
You’ll have to exptrapolate the short-timed nature of these visuals into a longer duration of minutes, hours & further.)


We all go through our lives more or less only aware of the moment we’re ‘in’: Our minds are only capable of self-awareness in one moment at a time. It’s as if our conciousness is a photograph of what it might acutally be… like our minds are only able to see one frame at a time from our film of conciousness, or one photograph at a time.


Long Gallery photograph

Of course, our memory and the very nature of our conciousness informs us that there is more than the single frame that we can percieve. If we compile Muybridge’s photography into a single frame, we might begin to get an idea of our four-dimensional selves…


As an aside, we also find inspiration for the Futurist’s concept of Dynamism, though that’s not what this post is about.

Both of the above works employ the merging of ‘frames’, but the ‘frames’ in time are infinitely small, meaning our four dimensional selves are less of a staggered photoshop trick, and more of an “organic curve through timespace”:

Long exposure of a trapese artist

Math theorists have noted that any universe of X dimensions can be seen simply as a shadow of an X+1D universe, which compliments the idea that what we percieve is only a shadow of what ‘is’.

How can we represent the idea that the self is a curve through timespace, rather than the solid 3D object we’re used to? And can we take this idea and extrapolate it from the physical form into an idea of a body of conciousness extended through time?

Also, how does the concept of the Big Bang affect this, as what we THINK is stationary, is actually an unknown velocity? Could the velocity we’re floating away from the bang influence the nature of our timespace? Wouldn’t it have to, if Einstein’s general theory of relativity is correct?

The translation of thought into a creative act

Here’s a partially formed idea for you, lets see how much we lose in its translation from my mind, to this blog, to your mind:

To communicate with an audience through art, we take our ideas, and translate them with a visual language of icons and metaphors etc through whatever medium we prefer. The viewer will then (hopefully) understand the artist’s message by ‘decoding’ the visual language employed, and the context in which they were used. Here we see that a successful, but certainly not always lossless, transaction of thought has taken place through a creative act.

The success of the creative act is dependant on the translation of the artist’s concious thoughts into a tangible entity.

So, if our conciousness is nothing more than an elaborate series of electrical connections over time, and digital art is also an elaborate series of electrical connections, communicated to a viewer over time, it may be logical to suppose that:

Through digital technology, we can hypothetically create a ‘perfect artwork’, with lossless cognitive translation between artist and audience

Artist, Existing

IDEA: An infinitely looping video of an artist, existing.

PREMISE: Time shall always pass, but in his creative statement of existence, an artist shall remain forever, untouched outside ide of time.

DETAILS: 2 digital photographs taken per minute, for the duration of 24 hours of a motionless being, sitting in a motionless world, spinning through space endlessly.

The photographs will be compiled as a time-lapse video on an infinitely repeating DVD, creating the image of an artist freed from the constraints of time.

Composition should be an expansive outdoor area, prefferably with long fields of grass, larges trees to the side, and a still body of water in the distance (to better show the changes in colour throughout the day, and to allow shadows cast by clouds to run across the ground, etc.) With this in mind, a public park should be ideal.

2 shots * 60 minutes * 24 hours = 2880 stills
2880 stills / 2 minutes / 60 seconds = 24 frames per second (for two minutes)