Amplifier for Art, Science and Society

Photos: Julien Gremaud.

Photos: Julien Gremaud.

Circadian Dreams

Helga Schmid

Contemporary life is dictated by external time-givers, but what happens if we concentrate on our body and our individual time signature?

Circadian Dreams is an installation by Helga Schmid, developed as part of her ongoing artistic research on Uchronia (defined as temporal utopia). In this installation the space acts as a clock. Twelve minutes represent one circadian day of ~24 hours, and each minute represents two hours. A light- and soundscape relates to our body phases, with a bright blue tone that activates us, an intensive red-orange which makes us sleepy, and darkness which brings us to a sleep/dream state. The phases are based on what we know of peak daily times for logical reasoning, concentration, muscle strength, nocturnal melatonin secretion and body temperature.

The work investigates an alternative time system in relation to the human body clock. Modern technology has fostered an increasing temporal fragmentation, heralding an era of flexible time with ever more complex processes of synchronisation, leaving us with the feeling of ‘no time’. By investigating the topic of time through a transdisciplinary approach of design, chronobiology and chronosociology, Helga Schmid opens up possibilities for a new politics of time.
Uchronian thinking not only involves unlearning conventional time, but is also concerned with developing alternative ways of understanding and using time.