It’s 5.50 am and I have to spend one more day here

It’s 5.50 am and I have to spend one more day here is the final iteration in the same dark room of Fletcher Building. As in other pieces in this series, we can read the title at the door entrance: “It’s 5.50 am and I have to spend one more day here.” The sound in the room is an unrecognizable voice talking in an unknown language audible from the outside. As with It’s his corpse but it’s not him the audience should experience the piece one by one.

Upon entering, the visitor is exposed to an extreme loud voice, almost a noise. He feels stunned. If he moves, the sound follows him. He doesn’t know if the room is big or small, if there is somebody else waiting for him in a corner. He moves very slowly. He extends his arms and tries to calculate the size of the room. He touches the wall at the end of the chamber. His eyes hit a stroboscopic light. The flashes of white light reverberate in his brain. He moves his gaze out of the light; in fractions of a second the light hits the room. He starts to wonder whether the space is not so big as he believed.

He starts to feel a light breeze on his face. He doesn’t know where it comes from. He starts to think about the title of the installation, the sentence he read before entering into the room. “It’s 5.50 am and I have to spend one more day here.” He starts to reflect about what experience the artist had in order to make the piece he has experienced.

This piece has the most sophisticated narrative that I have developed until now. Basically, it has an entry point or first act, where we have contact with the sound, a second act where we are followed by the sound and a conclusion when we are impacted by the light and the wind.

This piece recalls Ed Osborn’s work Feldstimmen, which also uses speech-like sounds. The sound is the key element of this piece. Even though it is made of words, the voice of the singer, meditation master Goenka, features low frequencies created to facilitate meditation. In this piece, though, the sound is played louder than usual in order to recreate the intense attention we put on our senses when we suffer extreme episodes of pain, like the one expressed in this piece.

The intense experience of this piece is rooted in the fact that we receive conflicting sensory information, and we have to make sense of it. We start feeling the sound very close to us. As we move, the noise should decrease, however, we perceive it again as if it is very close. One of the rules of our perception system is that if the stimulus continues, our attention to it diminishes. In this piece, the information about the sound is continuously updated, and therefore our attention is re-focused on it. How we make sense of it is where our mind meets the title; it’s how the artist felt at 5.50, somewhere, someday.

Images: Plan of the Installation, Physical Sensation.

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