Noxious Sector Projects
312 S. Washington St.
Seattle WA 98104

Christian Kuras & Ben Tanner

Time Machine (No Going Back)

In the year 1900 the French playwright Alfred Jarry wrote a manual for how to build a time-machine. The text was complex - involving gyroscopes, temporal inertia, and the harnessing of ether. Yet, despite its complexity, the proposition seemed plausible enough that the scientists of his day took the time to prove that his theory wouldn't work. Perhaps they were nervous that an artist might have come up with the secret first - or perhaps they simply wondered if, in his own creative way, he wasn't on to something potentially important.

In a strange way, Jarry made them take the time - re-directing their own time - to the exploration of his idea...

A century later, artists Christian Kuras and Ben Tanner have found a strangely similar solution. Or rather, they found a man with a slightly different manual. Time Machine (No Going Back) is portrait of Allan Munroe, the man who has invented this newest iteration of the time machine - this time one that actually works. The device consists of a char and table, atop which are mounted a series of dials, switches and lights. The machine draws it power from a standard electrical outlet - 120 volts in America, 220 volts in the U.K.

The secret of the machine is that we are already traveling through time - at a standardized rate of 60 seconds per minute, or at a subjective rate influenced by the objects of our gaze. It is said, for instance, that a watched pot never boils, which of course is not quite true. What is true is that is seems to take a lot longer than a pot left to its own devices - a distortion of time, if anything at all. It is also said that a journey home takes less time than when you're going away, assuming you like where you live. In some other instance the relationship is reversed, but it all has to do with how and where you want to spend your moments. The magic of Munroe's machine is that it focuses our attention on exactly this - the moments that we already purposefully spend, moving through a space called time.