Being able to actually touch time sparks the imagination. Jacqueline Heerema develops an artistic program about time, as an exercise in anticipation, of embodiment of time.
We all have some notion of time and lifespan. But with the current discourses about deep time, deep earth, deep sky etc., we may get lost. The future is unforeseen. The so-called sixth extinction is the first that the human species experience, instigated by our own actions. There is no previous scenario we can relate to, no referential guideline to follow. We are still in the process of trying to figure out what to do.
However, we can target at understanding the near foreseen future. By embracing change, combining nature-induced and human-induced historical processes into a mapping of the near foreseen future that we can percieve, Heerema targets at different ways of seeing and being and explores three timescales: The becoming, The being and The meanwhile.
The becoming relates to the reference points of time and space in the becoming of what is now.
The being relates to our perceptions of the present and the self in this process.
The meanwhile targets at further appropriations for the future.
At the intersection of palaeontology, geology and archaeology, the place we perceive now as Land in wording at Amstelpark has a long subsurface history. Going back in time, the sediments deposited by wind, water (sea and rivers) and ice (glaciers) and more recently human-induced layers (dikes, polders, sand subsidence for the making of Buitenveldert, soil deposits for the making of Amstelpark, peat for the making of Land in Wording), we get a vertical impression of the now, the notion of transitional processes and the relational self.
Drilling in the soil to collect a sediment core can be seen as a method to get a grip on time, of living, once living and non-living ecosystems, including disruptions of time and place. Reference collections of sediments, minerals, species, fossils and artifacts help to construct narratives around the concept of time. And to reconstruct previous assumptions into new narratives and timely insights.
The focus is Land in Wording, freely translated as Land to Be or Land in the Becoming, number 18 at the map of Amstelpark. According to the website of Amstelpark, this is the only area in the park that is said to be untouched by humans, with so-called pre-Floriade conditions. The context of Land in Wording is the pond, and across the pond the area that stretches from the Japanese Garden (no. 30) to Hop (no. 17).
The current timeframe is one of ethics of appropriations. We slowly start to realize the impact of human interventions and the resulting confusion of time and place. Following the nature-induced processes into the making of the (sub)surface, humanity disperses enormous quantities of raw materials, species and gasses around the planet and beyond. For the cultivated horticultural show Floriade 1972 and current Amstelpark, everything comes from somewhere else and was/is subject to timely interpretations of shifting values of nature that is not natural.