The Essence of a Moment
Copyright ©2014 Kayleigh Forger. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of the book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage retrieval system, without the permission in writing from the publisher. First Edition Written and Designed by Kayleigh Forger An undergraduatesenior capstone project based around the perception of time. State University of New York at Fredonia 280 Central Ave. Fredonia, NY 14063 Senior Capstone Project— Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design November 2013—April 2014
For information about this book, contact Kayleigh Forger at firstname.lastname@example.org www.kayleighforger.com
The Essence of a Moment
Time is the measurer of all things, but is itself immeasurable, and the grand discloser of all things, but is itself undisclosed.
– Charles Caleb Colton
A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S
This book is a celebration of exceptional achievements and growth over the past four years. My gratitude knows no bounds. In addition to the people who grace its pages, I would like to thank many people who have made these past four years possible. First and foremost, I want to thank my classmates, who have transformed from thirteen classroom acquaintances into one inseparable family, for the many hours and sleepless nights (some voluntary, some involuntary) spent together in the studio problem solving and pushing one another to explore the unthinkable. Their guidance and assistance have helped me gain the confidence I need to believe in myself and my artwork, and most importantly, to succeed in the real world. I can’t begin to imagine the last four years without their constant support and dedication ensuring we ran in stride with one another leaving no one behind and no stone unturned. In times of struggle and stress, we remained a tight knit unit, side by side, fighting each challenge not as thirteen individuals, but as one team; one family. It has been a privilege beyond words to watch each and every one of you develop and progress. The friendships we have formed and the passion for design that we spread and shared with one another is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. Good luck to you all and as this chapter of our lives comes to a close, may the new chapter you are about to begin, whatever it may be, bring you untold happiness and everlasting success. Wherever life takes us, always remember one thing; ‘and…no grid’. To my professors, Megan Urban and Jason Dilworth, who gave me the desire to learn more and opened my eyes to the endless amounts of possibilities that await me after graduation. Their teachings will remain with me forever. To my parents, Jim Forger and Laura Forger, and my sister, Breanna Forger, whom, despite my flaws, have loved me unconditionally and supported and encouraged me to pursue even my most far-fetched dreams. To my dearest and closest friends, who have taught me that the purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly, without fear for newer and richer experience and, most importantly, to live life in the present and find eternity in each moment. Thanks also to those who critiqued this project at different stages, as it evolved from ideas to concepts, from sketches to finished works. Lastly, a special thanks to the State University of New York at Fredonia for setting me up for a life of great success and accomplishments.
T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S
preface time the present the past the future closure
11 17 29 37 51 59
P R E F A C E
Humans seem unable to live without some concept of time. Our lives are bound and controlled by an arbitrary notion that we created. We experience the world as a direct process that allows a conceptual division of space and time. Time manifests itself undeniably. As humans, we find ourselves constantly caught up in the notion of ‘time’ and how to perceive its passing. We complain about not having enough time, having god-awful times, and quite often, we find ourselves wishing that time would speed up or slow down. The term time cannot be easily defined and there is
no right or wrong way to perceive its existence. Everyone experiences and perceives time individually in their own unique way. Time is of our own making; its clock is constantly ticking in our heads. We seek structure— we want to rely on something that controls the chaos and dictates the continuity of our everyday lives. Without a system of time, we would be overcome by chaos and uncertainties. We would be driven to insanity because when push comes to shove, our lives depend on time.
THERE IS NO PLA BEYOND THE FLO NO EXISTENCE W PRESENCE OF TI 12
LACE LOW OF TIME; WITHOUT THE TIME. 13
Although our lives depend on time, many would argue that the concept of time also creates a never-ending, unwinnable battle. We cannot avoid time. In fact, there is no place beyond the flow of time; no existence without the presence of time. But what exactly is time?
What exactly is time?
I M E
Time is notion that exists independently of our being. Its passing is impossible to see but you feel it when itâ€™s gone. Time waits for no one yet sails with all. It cares for few and scares many. Time is a harmer and a healer. It has no mercy and knows no hatred. It ushers love and instills fear. It strains bonds and builds wisdom.
In its simplest terms, time is the succession of happenings, to be experienced as an irreversible sequence of eventsâ€” it is a continuous progression in which all changes take place. We validate time as each sequential change of a clockâ€™s hands as they move along second by second, minute by minute. However, time exists far beyond the ticks of a clock. Time is unavoidable; it is everywhere. We may be unaware of it but in a way, we are surrounded by a constant infinity.
TIME IS THE SUC HAPPENINGS, TO EXPERIENCED AS SEQUENCE OF E 20
CCESSION OF O BE AS AN IRREVERSIBLE EVENTS. 21
Movement is time; earthâ€™s revolution around the sun is time, the daily rising and setting of the moon is time, traveling from point A to point B is time. Change is time; water changing to steam is time, liquid solidifying to ice is time, the change of weather from summer to winter is time, a change of views or beliefs is time. Becoming is time; a seed becoming a plant is time, a child becoming an adult is time. Experience is time; experiencing events first hand is time, participating in a sporting event is time. Recollecting, aching and forgetting is time, experiencing and moving on is time. Insight is time; learning knowledge and gaining insight is time, thinking and questioning the ordinary is time. Forming memories, establishing awareness,
obtaining fears and anxieties is time. Forming conceptions of past, present and future is time. There is objective time, but also subjective time; the type we wear on the inside of our wrists, next to where our pulse is constantly beating. This personal time, which I would consider true time, is measured in our relationship to memory. As a young child, we live in time long before gaining an awareness of its passing. We are only able to estimate time correctly if we are made to pay attention to it. We experience time in terms of how long it takes to do something. As we grow up, we begin to transpose the duration we have learned to associate with a particular action.
Eventually, we begin to acknowledge the existence of time and we realize that a single time continuum exists separately from individual actions. I find myself intrigued with the concept of time and how it is present in all areas of human existence. Many will argue that time is perceived in units such as seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, etc. However, my perception of time has always been much more complex than that.
I perceive time through specific moments that are stored in my memory and make up my perception of past, present and future. Memory is another, more personal, perception of time. French philosopher, Henri Bergson, once said, “we must put aside the idea of a single time; all that counts are the multiple times that make up experience.” In other words, our perception of time is dependent upon moments that have turned into memories. The hands on a clock never falter, not for a second. One day ends; a new day begins. Life can’t be divided into chapters...only moments. The events of our lives are all crammed together one right after the next without any time lapses or room for ‘chapter’ breaks. A moment could have the power of years. And years could pass in a moment. The only thing that will forever remain true about time is that it will never stop
moving forward. The lives of all people flow through time, and, regardless of how brutal one moment may be, how filled with grief, pain or fear it may be, time flows through each of our lives equally. Time doesn’t stop for anyone; it continues hurdling forward and onward, unstoppable and catastrophic. No matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away. Moments come and go, but time lasts forever. Our memories aren’t capable of remembering each second, minute, hour, or day that has passed. What they remember are specific, monumental moments that stand out to us. These moments, which were once ‘present’ are constantly constructing our past and forming our visions about the future.
THE ONLY THING FOREVER REMAI TIME IS THAT IT NEVER STOP MO 26
G THAT WILL AIN TRUE ABOUT WILL OVING FORWARD. 27
P R E S E N T
Perception of time as past, present and future gives us the illusion of the passage of time. I find it intriguing, and even puzzling, why we can measure the past and future, but not the present. A year is always three hundred and sixty five days, a day is always twenty four hours, an hour is always sixty minutes, and a minute is always sixty seconds. But what is a moment? What is ‘now’? How do we measure the present? How long is the present? The present is a fleeting moment; whatever is happening ‘right now’ in this exact instant in time. Present is the most real perception of time however, almost all of what we perceive as the present is already past. A moment happens so fast that by the time our brains are able to absorb that moment, it is already a past moment being stored in our memory and a new moment is occurring. This is a continual, never-ending cycle.
What is present only stays that way for a split second until it transforms further and further into the past. This split second is confined to an infinitesimally narrow point on the time line that is that we characterize as the past and the future. It is important not to get too caught up in living in the moment because if we do, the past will vanish and the future will lose meaning. The present almost immediately becomes neglect, evolving into the past. The fact that the present, which gives us the most real feel of time, cannot be measuredâ€”while the inaccessible past and unpredictable future can be measured as durationsâ€” strongly suggests that the way we perceive time is an illusion.
THE PRESENT AL IMMEDIATELY BE EVOLVING INTO 32
ALMOST ECOMES NEGLECT, THE PAST. 33
Time only exists in one specific state of consciousness.
At times it seems as if time exists only to create the chaotic illusion of life, not the intricate awareness of it. True awareness, it seems, lies in the endless inner space of consciousness, and that can only be approximated in our natural state of waking consciousness. Our perception of time is tied to our individual natural state of waking consciousness. Time only exists in one specific state of consciousness. Sleep, a common state of consciousness, allows us to
experience the illusion that time does not exist as we know it. While sleeping, we do not register the time sequence known to us during the waking state, nor do we remember the moments occurring as we sleep. Unless we are consciously aware of an event, it does not seem to enter our past memory. We only perceive time in our natural state of waking-consciousness. Could it be that time, as we know it, does not exist if we were to sleep forever?
P A S T
Unlike the present, the past and future are measurable durations of time. Past events, such as a party or a sports match, are all measurable durations in time. This suggests that the past is just a compilation of recorded memories. It can be easy for us to get trapped in yesterdays, in memories of a lost love or a childhood friend. Despite what is behind us, we must always live for a better tomorrow. We gain experience from the past, however we can never relive it. No change can be made of what the past has played. To live in its control can destroy the strength of our soul. That is not to say to completely disregard the past and ignore its existence, but rather to appreciate the good from our past and learn from the bad.
NO CHANGE CAN OF WHAT HAS PA IN ITS CONTROL STRENGTH OF O 38
N BE MADE PAST. TO LIVE L CAN DESTROYTHE OUR SOUL. 39
Not all past memories are good; some are regretful, others embarrassing and some we may wish to forget. . But those are the memories we must use to gain the wisdom and knowledge needed to move past them, leaving them to linger alone in the past. If you hold on to all the good you once had and cherish these extraordinary moments, they will become everlasting memories instilled in you forever. Moments fly by, yesterdayâ€™s dreams go on without us and we constantly find ourselves looking back and reminiscing on past events and memories. As the wheel of time turns, places wear many names and people wear many faces.
AS THE WHEEL O PLACES WEAR M AND PEOPLE WE 42
OF TIME TURNS, MANY NAMES EAR MANY FACES. 43
As humans we remember moments. Certain things occur throughout our life that touch our soul and stand out to us, and it is no surprise that it is in our nature to cherish these things and carry their memory with us wherever we go. Not only do we remember and cherish specific moments, but we remember people, places and things as well. I have met and interacted with more people than I can possibly remember, traveled to more places than I can count, and possessed more items than I can begin to recall. However, despite the extensive number of forgotten people, things and places of my past, there will always be a selective amount to which permanently remain stored not only in my memory, but in my heart as well. There will always be those people whom, although I havenâ€™t seen or talked to in years, will remain unforgotten. There will always be places that I have traveled to that I can recall like the palm of my hand. There will always be possessions that I will hold onto until they are unwillingly destroyed or dismantled.
One of my most prized possessions is my continuously growing collection of photo albums containing my story from birth to today. Within these albums are a countless number of moments that should have simply evaporated into the past and should exist only in memories to be seen through the fog of events following its passing. I treasure these captured moments because they allow me to re-perceive past events and reminisce on what once was the present.
I treasure captured moments that should have simply evaporated into the past.
For me, each and every moment turned to memory is a small piece of what makes me who I am today. It is important to always remember that it isnâ€™t what you did in the past that will affect the present. It is what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future. My past has not defined me, destroyed me, deterred me, or defeated me; it has only strengthened me. There are memories of past moments that I am unsure as to why I remember. I am amused by how I can remember a finger painting I made seventeen years ago, but yet I forget the name of the person I met at the coffee shop yesterday. I do not wish to understand how our memory works because to me it seems impossible. I love the randomness of the past moments that I remember best. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.
U R E
Similarly to the past, the future is a measureable duration of time. The future appears to be a projection created by our past experiences and stored in our memory; one that cannot be perceived. There is a very simple reason as to why we do not perceive the future, and that is that causes always precede their effects. Perception is a process, in that to perceive something you must first be affected by it. Therefore we can only perceive earlier events, never later ones.
One of the most interesting things about life is that it can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. We can never perceive or make sense of the future because it hasnâ€™t yet happened, however we are constantly attempting to perceive the past because it has already occurred in hopes of uncovering what is to come.
LIFE CAN ONLY B BACKWARDS; BUT IT MUST BE FORWARDS. 54
E LIVED 55
Although I do not perceive my future, I quite often find myself considering the infinite amount of possibilities that await me. Often times the uncertainty and ambiguity that the future holds is overwhelming to me. It is amazing
to see how quickly the hands of the clock circle toward my future that once seemed so far away. I try not to get too caught up in what is to come but rather, to stay focused on the current moment. I can spend all the time in the world hoping for the future, but I can never know for sure what the future holds for me.
C L O S U R E
Charles Caleb Colton once said, â€œtime is the measurer of all things, but is itself immeasurable, and the grand discloser of all things, but is itself undisclosed.â€? With and infinite amount of definitions and theories, time is an obstinate notion to deal with. This is one on the main things that has me drawn to it. The ambiguity of time perception is something that will always fascinate me. Understanding time is an impossible task. The notion of time and how it is perceived is a topic that will forever remain open. No one will ever be able to spell out one definite definition of time or prove any one theory of time. Time isnâ€™t something we can pick up and experiment with or study with a microscope for it is a mere imaginary dimension that controls and directs our illusion of its passing through the perception of past, present and future.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE PERPETUAL TICK AND THE EVERL PASSING OF TIME 60
E TO EVADE THE KS OF A CLOCK LASTING ME. 61
Time is boundless as it affects our daily lives in mundane and extraordinary ways. Our interaction and experience with time is something that knows no bounds. It becomes just another thing that many people take advantage of never appreciating the gratification of each moment. Everyone has their own way of perceiving the passage of time, whether they are consciously aware of it or not. It is impossible to evade the perpetual ticks of a clock and the everlasting passing of time. No matter how hard we try, or how fast we move we will never catch up with time nor will we ever have the power to modify its passing. Time is something we should treasure and worship. Take advantage of its existence while you still can because once it is gone, you will be too.
A moment could have the power of years. And years could pass in a moment. The only thing that will forever remain true about time is that it will never stop moving forward.