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Sara Morawetz: How The Stars Stand
Jul 15, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
“Where is the clock to show us how the stars stand?”
– RAY BRADBURY
Our experience of time is not constant, rather, it flexes and yields to the specific nature of our passage through space. Bound to Earth, this concept seems imperceptible, for we know no time but our own. Yet as we chart our passage around the sun, revolving on our own familial axis, time operates differently elsewhere. Compelled by operations outside our experience, each planetary body moves in its own discrete cycles, heeding standards that are as foreign as they appear desultory. From Earth, such notions hold no weight unless we ourselves become tied to them – fastened by our own physical connection to this extraneous action.
In an effort to illuminate these invisible constraints and become conscious of the standards that govern them, Sara Morawetz intends to abandon Earth time and to instead live by time as experienced on Mars. A Martian day is 24h 39m 35.24s, approximately 2.7% longer than a standard day on Earth. Morawetz will live according to Mars time for a full (although approximated) cycle – that would see her ‘day’ gradually separate from Earth-bound standards, invert, and then slowly return to synchronicity, an action that should take approximately 37 days to complete. This performative action is being conducted in consultation with Dr. Michael Allison of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
This work is part of an ongoing exploration of the processes that underpin scientific action. Morawetz is interested in the manner in which the constituent elements of the ’Scientific Method’ – namely observation, experimentation, method (as action) and standardization – are recounted within artistic practice and how these concepts can be further leveraged by artistic inquiry. Through her work, she aims to unravel the mechanics of scientific thinking by asking: what is method / observation / standardization? and, furthermore, how do these terms function outside scientific parameters in the fluid and mercurial sphere of artistic application?. Derived from the core principles of science, her work examines experimental investigation as a way of thinking and a mode of working, utilizing the philosophy of science as a means of critically interpreting systems, actions and processes. It is in this breakdown of artistic and scientific thinking that she aims to evaluate the volatile space in between, to examine the reciprocity within conceptual systems and to validate a communal passage that seeks to filter art through a scientific idiom.
Morawetz’s work is both research and process-driven, often employing durational, repetitious and participatory components – elements akin to a scientific experiment. These performative actions, that either become or create the work, are devised to test and expose the internal processes of methodological labour – the exhaustive, the obsessive, the poetic and the absurd – aspects that are all inherent to scientific practices.
Sara Morawetz is a Ph.D. Candidate at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney and an Australian Postgraduate Award recipient. She has been previously awarded the Martin Bequest Traveling scholarship and was a visiting scholar at Parsons School of Fine Art, The New School, NY in 2014. Her work has been exhibited in galleries within Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.