INTER-TWINED: Speculative Stitches in the Fabric of Causality
Artists: Kadie DiCarlo & Gina Takaoka
Date of Project: June 2014
Location: California State University Fullerton
Materials: Artist's Tape, Post-it Notes, Twine
Artist Statement: Kadie DiCarlo
In what way can we effectively illustrate the concept of time? (Is this my cue for inserting a lyric from RENT that refers to cups of coffee as units for measuring a life?) When we look at our past, series of events stand out, which may include instances that seem arbitrary; i.e. drinking a cup of coffee. What is interesting is there is not a single arbitrary event in our lives. The extra fifteen minutes I spent in the shower to ponder my existence this morning will actually affect a myriad of individuals lives, if not everyone’s. Think about how a person’s decision to step on a colony of ants will create a domino effect of events for that colony. This happens constantly within our realm, which absolutely intertwines life together based on events.
Inter-Twined became a collaborative effort to instill a visual representation of time. Because time is a man-made concept created to perpetuate order in our dimension, we catalogued people’s lives based on given events rather than lending focus to the year in which the event occurred. This allowed us to view a life as an abundance of events ricocheting off the next event.
In order to further experiment with lives intertwining with others, we created systems that randomized lives together based on their supplied events. The visual result of these connections turned out to be astounding. Individuals' decisions heavily affected the overall stitching of each system outcome. Our findings from each inter-woven system further supported our goal to represent the concept of causality, which determines an individual’s path.
Does this installation speak on a higher level in terms of our existence? By intertwining lives there is a newfound realization that we are indubitably in this experience together. When I tie a piece of yarn around your wrist tonight, remember that it changes the rest of your life’s successive events.
Artist Statement: Gina Takaoka
“Time is nature’s way of keeping everything from happening at once. Space is what keeps everything from happening to me.” –John Archibald Wheeler
This is the quote which, for me, drove the concept for Inter-Twined. What if it were possible to defy this notion and make time happen all at once? What if we could make a “space” where individual experiences become shared by all who inhabit it? What would it look like if we shredded the fabric of time, person by person, arranged it on the walls of the gallery, and stitched it back together? Armed with these questions, we began work on Inter-Twined.
I have always held the belief, as cliché as it may sound, that we are all somehow connected, often in ways that are unexpected or even indecipherable. Inter-Twined represents an effort to visualize this idea. It is an attempt to expose the ways in which we are connected, as well as the ways in which we could be connected.
Another idea which is intrigues me—also a cliché—is that “everything happens for a reason”. In order for this show to be possible, fifty people graciously contributed excerpts of their lives: successes, failures, losses, dreams, secrets, milestones; each event was reduced to a single shipping tag. Each person’s self-submitted timeline was then graphed, tags and all, along the walls of the Exit Gallery using a system which randomized the distribution of timelines as much as possible. Despite this process of randomization we began to see the emergence of larger shapes formed by clusters of different people’s events. Without any orchestration on our parts, individual experiences became small parts of something greater. It is up to the viewer to decide if they are witnessing order or chaos, random anomalies or small symptoms of a greater set of rules at work.
It is quite human to feel that our own experience is the end-all, be-all; we all harbor a degree of solipsism in this respect. Seen from a distance—even one as small as the length of a gallery—tragedies and triumphs become one. Our lives become mere bits of data; we are all the same. Perhaps the questions which begat Inter-Twined are ultimately too lofty to be answered with a single installation in a small gallery space. Unanswered questions notwithstanding, we hope to have offered a new perspective: at its least, an interesting interpretation of space and time, and at its best, a god’s-eye view of what it might look like to see all of our lives, intertwined.