I sometimes find myself asking rhetorical questions about the space-time continuum, because you know, space is fixed and time is just an abstract, man-made concept so the combination could be pretty chaotic. But I try not to think about it too much. Individually you'd think that there aren't a lot of questions. Space is space, time is time, let's call the whole thing off!
A few weeks ago I was at the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the NGV, it was beautifully presented and full of wonderful things. It was also full of people and lots of school groups.I I looked at this photo:
And moved on. And then I heard a girl of about 14 say, "It's from Vogue 1993." I didn't really think anything of it for a second, just wondered why she'd make that comment. And then it occurred to me that the photo would have been taken nearly ten years before that girl was born. It was basically the same as me standing in a gallery in 1993 looking at a photo from Vogue 1971.
But 1971 seems like some other place altogether. And I am sure that in 1993 if I'd seen a picture from 1971 Vogue I would have imagined that time as being very different. Glamourous, exciting, long ago. But I guess half of that has to do with Vogue. So I wondered, was that girl imagining 1993 as a significantly different time? A historic time? Back then there was no internet or smart phones. In fact there were only brick mobile phones, and they were only for rich people. River Phoenix was even alive for most of it. But that 14-year-old girl probably doesn't even know who that is. I mean, doesn't that blow your mind?! That 1993 can seem as historic as 1971! Personally I find something kind of disturbing about it all. I know I'm 20 years older than people in their mid-teens but then I think about what that means in the grand scheme of things it's mind blowing.
How about the fact that when you are a kid time drags. I would put any money on this year feeling to Baby like it goes on forever, but for me I have no doubt it will pass in the blink of an eye. Perspective, I guess they call it. Miguel and I were talking recently about how that is, that a week or month or year for a kid takes for ever and for an adult it just feels like time actually flies by. He suggested it may be that a kid is learning things all the time, every day something happens that is a big deal, so each day is more significant, creating a sense of size for each day, making it longer. It is an idea I like a lot but I think it has more to do with what we want. When you are a kid you want to be old enough to do all the cool shit and it seems so far away. You're just waiting for that time to come when you are the boss, so of course time drags. But as an adult you just want to hang on to youth and health and beauty and all that good shit that you realise is fleeting, the perspective is exactly opposite of a child's, so little wonder the sense of time is. Still weird though. But I guess if anything is going to blow your mind, it is going to be an abstract man-made concept.