if we never shared a future (there) how could we share a past (here)



4 (+∞) D audio-video sculpture

Sound: David Jongen

Image: Elize Rausch


if we never shared a future (there) how could we share a past (here) is the first part of a trilogy (Untied. Desire for Gravity.) about perception of space and time and possibility and their impact on human interaction. First version developed in 2014, further developed as part of the trilogy in 2018.


Material: cube dimensions 4m x 4m, construction steel with 2 way projection screen, 4 synchronised projectors and 4 speakers


The video projection is spread over four screens but images moves as one singel image over and those screens. The sound and image can be experienced from in or outside the installation.


(Thank you © Sofie Jaspers and Peter Accoustic for the pictures!)

'Albert Einstein taught us that space and time are not what they seem to the human senses. For a start,  they should be regarded as two connected facets of a greater whole, called spacetime. From the more  holistic viewpoint of relativity theory, concept such as length, mass and duration take on a much more  nebulous aspect than they do in the apparently rigid reality of our everyday world. Even the idea of  simultaneity and the concept of 'now' assume an elusive character that often runs counter to common  sense. (The Matter Myth, Paul Davies, John Gribbin)


if we never shared a future (there) how could we share a past (here) is an installation that places itself and the viewer/observer in the 4 dimensional spacetimecontinuum.


The video projection is spread over four screens, which do not operate independently from each other, but show the whole image as a continuum. The four screens form 4 dimensions of a unity, are 4 facets of the same unity.

Also the audio is constructed 4 dimensional, through quadrofonie.

Audio & video are indissoluble, constituate each other.


The audience can move  freely around and inside the installation. This way, the installation puts the audience in a four dimensional universe, in which (through sound & image) time becomes relative with respect to the movement in space, in which one clock is ticking slower then the other one, although they are ticking both 'correct'. In which the one spectator builds a different reality than another spectator, although they watch & listen to the same installation. Because sound and image are -be it intertwined- not synchronized, each time a different reality is constituted.






if we never shared a future (there) how could we share a past (here) studies the impact of contemporary knowledge of space and time (or actually of 'space-time) for humankind.


Contemporary physics (theory of relativity & quantumphysics) as well as Psycho Analysis question and challenge our common sense notions of space and time. Space and time are no longer seperate entities that exist independent from the observer. They form an elastic unity, which doesn't manifest itself in a linear (past - present - future) way.


As time and space formed -in the classical way of understanding - an inert structuring framework, digital codes form an ordening of pixels in space & time, which presents us an unified, meaningful whole. Instead of signal, we get noice.


When the codes are changed arbitrary (random), so called 'glitches' do appear, and this meaningful whole gets destructed, or rather changed. The structuring of time and space is allways subject to our comprehension, our mental grasp.  Our perception, our eyes and brains receive constantly 'data', that is filtered and structured by our brain. However, this is allways limited by our ability to see and think, and is always functional to provide meaning, significance. For example, it's very hard for us to make an image of a 10 dimensional spacetime.


Where data are being changed, the medium itself takes over from the observer, pushes itself as subject to the foreground. The data, the code itself becomes 'the meaningful subject', instead of an instrument forced into our concepts.



In the projection we discover images from an -to us- well known univers (a panorama of a Mallorca beach), a universe in which we feel 'at home'. Besides that, we also discover images from a less known univere (The Rosetta Nebula), which nevertheless -thanks to pictures of NASA e.a. - are slightly familiar to us. However we never actually observed this, we have a feeling of 'recognition'.

But where a human being finds itself in a 'transition universe', that fluctuates between beach and Nebula, we find ourselves in a new unknown space, one which challenges our imaginative power. Noise and glitch form a wormwhole between both. Human beings are thrown into “unheimlichkeit”, which involves an intense feeling of metaphysical loneliness.



Since Einstein, our perception of space & time is challenged by a spacetime continuum, which is very difficult to grasp. If we do live in this kind of spacetime continuum – which is quite different than our daily common sense understanding of space and time -, can we still live, as individuals, in the same space/time ? Or are we condemned to some form of cosmic isolation ? If gravity is warped spacetime, what does this mean for our physical relation with the earth and with each other ?



The viewer experiences at the same time some kind of suffocation in the installation, as well as the discovery of far away horizons, a new recovered freedom, a new recovered universe

© Elize Rausch 2020.