Productivity, speed, efficiency, dynamics—time as a measuring unit of our effort and value. In today's society, focused on constant performance, time (and especially its paradoxical shortage) is inseparable from the rush of neoliberal capitalism we find ourselves caught up in.
Few people have the time to reflect on where our need to measure, save, and chase something so intangible came from. Machine-counting time is a social construct to facilitate the illusion of control over time—and we have reached a point where this illusion is slipping, where we are losing control over time, where time controls us.
Our era of acceleration requires increasingly precise indicators. Measuring in seconds is no longer enough—the latest and most accurate concept of a unit of time was established using atomic clocks, which work on the principle of a crystal oscillator with the resonance frequency of a cesium atom.
Cesium 133, a small clock placed in a site-specific environment that itself refers to the shape of hourglasses, raises questions over self-worth in the flow of time. The exhibition's opening marks the birth of a transient timer, as counted on the two variable numbers on the monitor. Cesium 133 determines the duration of that object's existence, as well as the existence of the entire exhibition.
Acknowledgments to Andrej Kučera.
Curators: Agáta Hošnová, Karolína Voleská
Author: Michael Čambor (Architecture I)
Author of graphic design: Michal Tůma (Atelier of Graphic Design and New Media)
Photo: Julie Petrůjová
Video: Marie Hantáková
* Galerie NIKA is open 24 hours, 7 days a week → metro B, Karlovo náměstí, entrance via Palackého náměstí *