A Walk Through Deep Time is an ongoing research project which invites people to share scientific, philosophical and cultural ideas as part of a roving discussion and walk through ‘deep‘ or geologic time. The first walk event held followed a farm fenceline of 457 metres to represent 4.57 billion years, and involved astronomers, geologists, physicists, and biologists as well as matauranga Maori practitioners, philosophers, artists, teachers and a wider public.
Participants are invited to ‘bring a personal wonder’ that might in some way relate to the topics of time, energy, or ancestors.
From these events an accumulative location-sensitive audioscape of ideas, thoughts and stories is building. This can be contributed to at walk events, via an iOS device while on-site at an installation, or by contributing online. More information on the audioscape and how to contribute is below.
Join for a Walk in Sydney
A similarly wide range of participants are invited to join for the upcoming walk events to be held in Sydney as part of ISEA 2013 and the Electronic art pop-ups programme (see more details for June 9 and the June 10 events).
Unguided: the Audioscape
For the self-guided experience, the location-sensitive audioscape will also be available for the duration of ISEA (Fri 7th – Sun 16th June). This currently requires a GPS-enabled iOS device, the Deep Time iPhone app, and access to mobile data. For travellers to ISEA in Sydney, information on some affordable local mobile data providers is available here and here. Trail maps can be picked up from the event meeting place.
We exist largely within a human scale of time. Days, weeks, and deadlines – decades and generations. Rarely do we attempt to comprehend the context of the timescales of the earth, or the universe. Vast, complex, and full of unknowns, the topic requires many knowledges to come together, and envelopes important elements of different cultural world views. By walking, and talking our way through time, we can begin to build new sets of reference points.
Our sense of time is also affected by the common misrepresentation of the true scale of the history of the earth in popular science books. Due to the practicalities of limited space on the page, billions of years are often compressed and simply labelled ‘Precambrian’ for example. Giving disproportionate prominence to popular topics such as dinosaurs and the evolution of our species.
By physically experiencing the true scale of the earth’s history, this project is interested to make comprehensible this wider perspective on all life on earth, including ourselves.
A tunnel of time
Join us at ISEA 2013 in Sydney, Australia
Come and join us for A Walk Through Deep Time in Sydney, Australia. Astrophysics, geology, evolutionary biology, and the paleo sciences, will meet with the creativity of the cultures of our time on a walk that will stretch from the formation of Earth to today.
∞ time • energy α the complexity of life × ancestors
All participants are invited to ‘bring a wonder’ to share on one or more of the above topics. This could be an idea or story that amazed you, an object you can bring… you decide. You might for example want to discuss different ways of thinking about time or energy. We encourage you to contact us with your ideas or any questions so we can get an idea of participants. You can also simply come along and see on the day how the conversation evolves and where you might want to join in.
Format: After short self-introductions, the gathered group will then walk through the geologic time scale, from the formation of the planet through the gradual stages of emergence of complex life.
Cost: Free (audioscape requires access to mobile data for your phone)
Not in Sydney? You will soon be able to add your wonders to the audioscape for the walk online.
Audioscape & How to Contribute.
By joining for the walk events you will also be invited to add to an accumulating soundscape of ideas, thoughts and stories on the topic. This location-based interactive soundscape installation of the timeline remains after the walk events. In this way the project seeks to explore a juxtapose knowledges and perspectives gathered, rather than dictate a particular perspective.
The sounds are woven together via the movements of a visitor through the installation space. Accessed on smartphones, the soundscape is triggered by your movements. In future we hope to also add responsive variables based on algorithms used in computational evolution and complexity theory.
The location-sensitive audioscape will be available for the duration of ISEA (Fri 7th – Sun 16th June). This self-guided experience, requires you to come prepared with a few pieces.
You will need;
- a GPS-enabled iOS device,
- the Deep Time iPhone app, and
- access to mobile data. For travellers to ISEA in Sydney, information on some affordable local mobile data providers is available here and here.
- trail maps for Sydney can be picked up from Shop 2.03, 140 George Street, The Rocks.
The Keeper of The House of Wonder, Trudy Lane has been collaborating with the talented sound artist Halsey Burgund to create this experience, using the open source Roundware platform that he has developed for his own works.
Trudy and Halsey developed a first iteration of this soundscape during the SCANZ 2013: 3rd nature creative residency in January 2013, producing a pilot version of the experience for the SCANZ 2013: 3rd nature exhibition at Puke Ariki Museum & Library in New Plymouth.
This environment is now being adapted and transported to Sydney for the June 2013 events.
We hope to be able to bring you an android version of the audioscape experience shortly.
The walk project is being developed to be able to be held and implemented in multiple places. Do please do consider joining us for an event to see how it works, or to follow this page for updates on the project.
Previous Events & Participants
The House of Wonder, November 2011
Hamish Campbell, Geologist
Hugh Morgan, Microbiologist
Keith Thompson, Ecologist
Thomas Everth, Physicist, Programmer
Mike Dickison, Evolutionary Biologist
Alistair Brickell, Geologist and Amateur Astronomer
Ruth Irwin, Philosopher
Sue Gallagher, Art & Design Lecturer, Artist
Janine Randerson, Art & Design Lecturer, Artist
Jo Tito, Art & Design Lecturer, Artist
Jono Clark, Ecoquest
Frances Karl, Science Teacher, Hauraki Plains College
Bruce Miller, Engineer
Nelle Rose, Hive Taranaki Environment Centre
Adela Christiansen, Local Artist
Trudy Lane. The Keeper
Joy Geary & Partner, Findlay Family Researcher
Splore Festival, February 2012
John Steemson, Microbiologist
Dr. Chris Longson, Evolutionary Biologist, Ecoquest
Julian Priest, artist
Sophie Jerram, artist
Sonja van Kerkhoff, artist and collaborator
View A Walk Through Geologic Time in a larger map
This Google map gives an overview of where the timeline was installed across the Miranda farm property.