- Time Immersion Cubicle
As I began this project, so I begin the post - with the Koan, Hoshin's Last Poem:
The Zen Master Hoshin lived in China many years. Then he returned to the northeastern part of Japan, where he taught his disciples. When he was getting very old, he told them a story he had heard in China. This is the story:
One year on the twenty-fifth of December, Tokufu, who was very old, said to his disciples: “I am not going to be alive next year so you fellows should treat me well this year.” The pupils thought he was joking, but since he was a great-hearted teacher each of them in turn treated him to a feast on succeeding days of the departing year.
On the eve of the new year, Tokufu concluded: “You have been good to me. I shall leave tomorrow afternoon when the snow has stopped.” The disciples laughed, thinking he was aging and talking nonsense since the night was clear and without snow. But at midnight snow began to fall, and the next day they did not find their teacher about. They went to the meditation hall. There he had passed on.
Hoshin, who related this story, told his disciples: “It is not necessary for a Zen master to predict his passing, but if he really wishes to do so, he can.” “Can you?” someone asked. “Yes,” answered Hoshin. “I will show you what I can do seven days from now.”
None of the disciples believed him, and most of them had even forgotten the conversation when Hoshin called them together. “Seven days ago,” he remarked, “I said I was going to leave you. It is customary to write a farewell poem, but I am neither a poet or a calligrapher. Let one of you inscribe my last words.”
His followers thought he was joking, but one of them started to write. “Are you ready?” Hoshin asked. “Yes sir,” replied the writer. Then Hoshin dictated:
I came from brillancy
And return to brillancy.
What is this?
This line was one line short of the customary four, so the disciple said: “Master, we are one line short.” Hoshin, with the roar of a conquering lion, shouted “Kaa!” and was gone.
What is this?
Influenced by this reading, I began to think about The In Between, transience and ephemerality, and then went on to research time and its modern-day value.My research included Einstein’s Theory of Relativity & reading the novel, Einstein’s Dreams (I highly recommend it), the fourth dimension, black holes and their event horizons, the Japanese Enso sign (a symbol of the universe and continuity as well as a moment when the mind is free to create), and recent theories that time is inquantifiable and might just be an illusion.
In exploration of these ideas, I decided to develop an object that would allow the modern individual, one who is often busy and in need of “five more minutes” to be at peace with time by immersing himself within a a meditative space, constructed to imitate warped dimensions in space beyond an event horizon.
This horizon would be breached through the bottom of a block of time with “second hands” and a log slice face - a ridiculous creature, but one who might invite a person to hug it, pet it, explore it, “hold on [to] a second [hand]” and so on, in this way "becoming friends" with time and diminishing any transience-associated stress.
The creature, TIC (Time Immersion Cubicle), in itself the product of very much time, was designed to be childish; inspired by Japanese plastic culture design, & in order to invite one to perceive and interact with time in a more lighthearted manner - like a child who puts a box on his head and pretends he's in a space-cave.
Without further ado, the TIC:
- More at Flickr.