Deep Time Séance

8 April, Residency Unlimited, New York, USA

Deep Time Séance invites its participants on a multisensory journey across crystallised layers of time. For one evening, the premises of Residency Unlimited are transformed into a site where rational and mythical perceptions of the Earth merge. Deep Time Séance is composed around a site-specific video installation and live music performance by Tuomas A. Laitinen and Matti Ahopelto (Siinai) and circulating energy objects by Jaakko Pallasvuo.

A hauntingly mesmerising, ever-changing view and ethereally flowing soundscape open up a portal into an unfamiliar time where the surface of the Earth has transformed into azure blue dunes of copper ore. The barren, Ballardian landscape is devoid of humans although formed by them. The cyclic movements of this strange mineral world, rendered into waves, are observed from above as if by an extraterrestrial gaze. This world is not quite within our reach, only a few tiny fragments of its materiality are tangible to us. The worldly circulation continues on, through the entangled rhizomes of microorganisms, web-like connections between singular bodies and the macro metabolism of the Earth. 

The concept of deep time, introduced by Scottish geologist James Hutton (1726–1797), allows looking into the circulation of matter through the geological history of our planet. It opens up a possibility to understand the dizzying depths of time beyond human comprehension. In the early years of the 20th century, a séance signified a ritualistic session for communicating with the spiritual world. This séance, however, calls for poetic contemplation upon the Anthropocene Era, where there is no more "Nature" uninfluenced by or separable from the consequences of human actions, where humans have become a force of nature. Deep Time Séance is a ritual for imagining possible futures for all the material, the things and beings inhabiting the Earth. 

The séance is curated by Jenni Nurmenniemi (HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme), who is a curator-in-residence at Residency Unlimited (27 Feb–23 Apr, 2015) as part of Mobius Fellowship Program for visual art professionals organised by the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York.