This multi-user installation expresses the uncontrollability of
collaborative processes by offering a broad register of
time-manipulation devices. Sitting in one of several chairs at a large,
round table, a visitor will discover dials that control time. Through
the operation of these dials, images projected onto the table pass
freely through the past, the present and the future, mutating as theygo;
the microcosm of time lies in the hands of the visitor. The twentieth
century has transformed our concept of time, and Timetable attempts to
reproduce the manipulation of time - its shrinking, its recording and
even its elimination - that technology has made possible.
Produced by: NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] for ICC Biennale '99
Sound: Elliott Sharp
Code & Interface Design Assistance: Juha Huuskonen
Real-Time 3D Rendering Engine: SurRender 3D
Production Assistance: Scott Konzelman
Winner, Grand Prix, ICC Biennale '99
In collaboration with VIPER International Festival for Film Video and New Media/Basel and Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle/Bonn.
Timetable (1999) runs on a 450mHz Pentium III computer with a TNT2
graphics card and a Sound Blaster Live sound card. The custom software
was developed using the SurRender3D graphics engine. A video projector
(minimum brightness of 2000
ANSI lumens, wide-angle lens) is mounted on the ceiling above the table,
and projects a 1024 x 768 image downward (using a front-surface mirror)
onto the table, which is approximately 2.75 meters in diameter. Twelve
US Digital rotary encoders (with dials) are built into the table; these
share a single RS232 serial bus. A four-channel speaker system
(Cambridge Soundworks) is also built into the table, with a subwoofer
Description from Machine Times
The twentieth century has transformed our concept of time, and the interactive multi-user installation Timetable attempts to reproduce the manipulation of time - its shrinking, its recording and even its elimination - that technology has made possible.
In Timetable, an image is projected from above onto a large circular table. Twelve dials are positioned around the perimeter of the table. The functions of each of these dials changes and mutates, depending on what is projected onto them at any given moment. Dials can become clocks, gauges, speedometers, switches, steering wheels, and so on. A real-time 3D scene, projected onto the central part of the table, is controlled and influenced by the movements of the dials. Through the operation of these dials, images projected onto the table pass freely through the past, the present and the future, mutating as they go; the microcosm of time lies in the hands of the visitor.
At the outset, the space of Timetable seems to be rational and unified, but the longer the piece is used, the more complex and multi-dimensional it becomes, as perspectives and timeframes diverge and split off from each other. Timetable attempts to make certain paradoxical (even impossible) pseudo-scientific concepts into concrete experiences, such as time travel, multiple branching universes, alternate dimensions and shared hallucinations.
The table itself represents a kind of giant immersive clock, but it could as easily be described as a board game without rules, a top-level meeting with no agenda, or a seance without spirits. At the end of a century in which all our ideas about time have been shattered and radically reconfigured, Timetable is an attempt to play with concepts of time - to buy time and to spend it, to save time and to waste it, to find time and to lose it, to borrow it, to run out of it, to kill it.