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Existence without time

12 Oct 2017

Existence without time Image

By James Manton

Performance artist and academic Kat Henry will spend 10 days locked inside a “temporal isolation chamber” for her new project, “TimePod”.

Running from October 10 to October 20, the project is designed to separate Henry from all possible sources of time (clocks, books, time-measured activities) to give her the opportunity to explore human, and her own, perception of time.

“When I’m in there, it’s a really simply existence,” Ms Henry said.

“I’ll be doing all of the normal daily functions of life, according to my own internal rhythms, but really I’m considering time and I’m passing time.”

“I’ll be sleeping. I’ll be eating. I’ll be doing a simple preparation of food. I’ll be bathing. I’ll be dressing – all of those fundamental basics of life.”

“I’ll be doing some yoga as well, to keep physically active in some way.”

Henry underwent a similar 240-hour project five years ago called Deliverance, so being separated from the rest of society will not be entirely unusual for her.

However, she says removing all facets of time from her life will be challenging considering much of how we live is dictated by time-based activities and considerations.

The project is also a part of her academic studies and will form the basis of her PhD research.

“I started to formalise this research into my honours studies and now PhD, so TimePod is really the result of the first two years of research within my PhD of looking at time, the nature of time, the perception of time and the manipulation of the perception of time.”

“Essentially it’s a question. It is a provocation doing this act. For me, I ultimately don’t know (what I’ll get out of it).”

Ms Henry has put much effort into the project, consulting with experts in a variety of fields before undertaking the venture, however she will also have a team monitoring her through a webcam and heart-rate monitor to ensure she is safe and to help in case there is an emergency.

Henry says the pod itself is essentially just a 1965 Viscount caravan that has been partially restored but has had much of its “guts pulled out”.

“We just hacked it, really. We hacked an old caravan and I’ve been calling it a Space Minty.”

The outside of the pod looks like a box wrapped in layers of plastic wrap, while the inside is painted entirely white with basic living areas and windows covered in padding.

A low hum will also be played throughout the performance to help block out external noises.

An entering ceremony was held on October 10 while an exit ceremony will be held on October 20 at 6pm, though the public is welcome to visit the Testing Grounds site at 1 City Rd to see the project throughout the 10-day performance.

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