Page 20 - Studio International - June 1965
P. 20

Time  Dilates

                                                                                 by  Pol  Bury
       Photo/ André Morain
                                                                                 Between the immobile and mobility,  a certain quality of
                    pa  av  p    lent.                                           slowness reveals to us a field of ·actions· in  which  the eye is no
           se   a      lente.                                                    longer able to trace an object's journeys.
                 l    un   lent.                                                 Given a globe travelling from A to  B, the memory we shall
                                                                                 retain of its point of departure will be a function of the slowness
                                                                                 with which it achieves its journey.  Our eye, our memory have
            Larousse    ed.                                                      lost the memory of A.  Only the quality of slowness allows
                                                                                 it to obliterate its own tracks,  to be an eraser of memory,
                                                                                 to make us forget its past.

                                                                                 The journey from A to  B, perceived in terms of speed, is less a
                                                                                 Voyage than a confusion which can become so great that
                                                                                 A and  B approach close enough to each other to become
                                                                                 indistinguishable.  But perceived  in terms of slowness,  A is no
                                                                                 longer  necessarily the point  of departure  towards  B.  One
                                                                                 no longer knows whether the globe is going from A to  B, or
                                                                                 whether A is the point of arrival, or even whether the globe,
                                                                                 in its periplus, has any connection any longer with any
                                                                                 putative A or  B whatsoever.
                                                                                 Thus,  we can see that slowness not only multiplies duration but
                                                                                 also permits the eye following the globe to escape from its
                                                                                 own observer's imagination and let itself be led by the
                                                                                 imagination of the travelling globe itself. The imagined voyage
                                                                                 becomes imaginative.
                                                                                 Journeys avoid 'programmization· in the degree that they are
                                                                                 endowed with a quality of slowness; they finally achieve a
                                                                                 real or fictional liberty, a liberty acting on its own  account and
                                                                                 for its own pleasure.
                                                                                 Speed limits space, slowness multiplies it.  The liberty thus
                                                                                 manifested can also be observed in the contrary force which
                                                                                 the globe opposes to its own displacement: an opposition
                                                                                 whose intention is to keep reminding us of the constant
                                                                                 battle it is required to wage against the forces of weightiness.
                                                                                 At this point we enter the realm of the dynamics of slowness.
                                                                                 Travelling rapidly from A to  B, the globe tends to make us
                                                                                 forget momentarily the facts of weight and gravity, to forget
                                                                                 even its own volume,  but a slow motion re-establishes it
                                                                                 for us in its struggle of opposition, as it finds in  itself the
                                                                                 strength necessary to conquer its own weight. The globe's
                                                                                 volume then assumes its full significance; it is real;  it registers
                                                                                 the limits of its possibilities, of its ambitions, it is a volume
                                                                                 which has made its choice.  In slowness, the globe's density
                                                                                 discovers its full potentialities.

                                                                                 Let  us add  a  little  complexity  to  the  preceding  data
                                                                                 If we add to the area of activities of our first globe a second
                                                                                 globe of a different volume, animated by a different degree of
                                                                                 slowness, then  our  first  findings  are multiplied by the second
                                                                                 series of findings; yet other findings ensue as a result of
                                                                                 this multiplication.
                                                                                 Two slownesses gently grazing each other even go so far as
                                                                                 to rub against each other. We dare henceforward speak of such
                                                                                 activity no longer in terms of geometry, but almost in the
                                                                                 language of the boudoir.
                                                                                 In such an atmosphere,  caresses are born, are renewed,
                                                                                 multiply.  Only linked slownesses have the capacity to create,
                                                                                 keep alive and re-create these foreseen and unforeseen
                                                                                 contacts, these tentatively gentle strokings.
                                                                                 The hand, the breast, other volumes proceeding from A to  B,
                                                                                 from C to  D?  No voyage is so indecisive, so precise.  But a
                                                                                 slowness plus a slowness do not equal a quickness: on the
                                                                                 contrary, they become intensified, they transmit to each
                                                                                 other their acquired slowness, adding to each other in order to
                                                                                 measure themselves, in terms of mechanics, by a subtraction.
                                                                                 Two globes on the scale of slowness:  it is air, fire, earth and
                                                                                 water which  bear the  weight of their measure.

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