Designed specifically for the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan, An Hour of Infinity is part of my ongoing body of work investigating the timelessly beautiful imperfection inherent within the human experience of the Infinite.
Eight drawing performers were spread throughout the museum’s permanent collection. They drew circles in the Dynastic Egypt gallery on the ground floor, and lemniscates (the “figure eight” symbol for infinity) in the Roman gallery on the second floor. These performers attempted to represent the symbols for infinity accurately, but constantly made mistakes due to the nature of the unusual drawing process they were asked to execute.
Two surround sound installations used sounds recorded in the Kelsey Museum as their source material: the Egyptian gallery played sounds of footsteps on a creaky wooden floor in the original Kelsey Museum building, while the ancient Roman temple reconstruction on the second floor played sounds of drawers being opened and closed in the Kelsey’s off-limits basement archives.
Two musicians performed site-specific, hour-long scores: a score for guitar and electronic effects used reproduced paintings from a mysterious room in the ancient city of Pompeii as its source material, while the other score - for unaltered violin - repurposed the inscriptions of gibberish text on an ancient Babylonian incantation bowl as graphic notation.
By providing a series of fixed sonic points in time while foregrounding the active sounds of history that reverberated throughout the museum, this event challenged the members of the audience to analyze their own relationships with museums and with the experience of time itself.