Envisioning Deep Time

Envisioning Deep Time

Jonathon Keats

April 7, 02015

Philosophical inquiry and scientific absurdism meet in the conceptual precision and ice dry wit of Jonathon Keats. In his talk at The Interval, Keats discussed his forays into very long-term photography and other deep time projects. He also announced a site-speciific collaboration with The Long Now Foundation that will create a long-term art work on our Mt. Washington property in Eastern Nevada.

As an experimental philosopher and conceptual artist, Jonathon Keats has applied general relativity to time management, personalized the metric system, sold real estate in the higher dimensions of spacetime, and epigenetically resurrected historical figures including George Washington and Jesus Christ. Those are some of the projects he touches on in this talk.

Currently Keats is building pinhole cameras of his own design with exposure times of 100 and 1,000 years to document long-term change in cities from San Francisco to Berlin. The Berlin century cameras debuted in 02014. Each person who secretly installed one will eventually inform a child of its location. In 02114 that child is responsible for retrieving the finished photo and returning the camera to the gallery. Where they can get their deposit back. The first millennium camera was installed recently at the Arizona State University Art Museum.

But his next time art project is five times as ambitious. Keats reveals for the first time in this talk a project to turn bristlecone pines into calendars--living calendars. Bristlecones live up to 5000 years, so they are unique in the duraton they track time through dendrochronology. The artist needed to find a place where these ancient trees are already growing that would work with him to create this project. And happily we at Long Now could do just that. The story of the Centuries of Bristlecone will be a long time in telling. But stay tuned.

A conceptual artist and experimental philosopher, Jonathon Keats' work has included personalizing the metric system, copyrighting his own mind, applying general relativity to time management, and attempting to genetically engineer God. Recently he opened the shutter on his first millennium-long photograph. Co-sponsored by The ZERO1 Art & Technology Network. From April 02015.

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