"Imagine an island without clocks. Its people tell time by the movement of shadows, the pattern of birdsong, the swelling of buds. But often they forget about time altogether, lingering in its gardens, daydreaming on its winding paths, playing in its fields. This is a place set apart from ordinary time. This is Stereochron Island." - Cathy Haynes, Stereochron.org
Chisenhale Gallery is pleased to announce Cathy Haynes’ new research project Stereochron Island, for the Chisenhale Gallery Victoria Park Residency 2013-14. Stereochron Island takes its starting point from Victoria Park’s history as London's first public park and builds on Haynes’ previous project as Timekeeper in Residence at UCL Petrie Museum (2013). Over the forthcoming months Haynes will present a series of public events and develop a new work for Victoria Park.
Haynes’ project investigates the devices we use to make sense of the world, such as clocks and time maps. She aims to dismantle the divisions between fields of knowledge that limit our sense of permission to explore, question and take part. Stereochron Island re-imagines Victoria Park as a fictional island state campaigning to liberate itself from the mechanical clock. Haynes observes that today many of us feel time-poor. Yet we have more time than ever before, thanks to extended life expectancy, labour-saving technology and the right to free time. She proposes that our time-scarcity results from a lack of fullness and variety in the kinds of time we comprehend, value, experience and craft. Stereochron Islandinvites a collective investigation into capturing the other, rarer kinds of time that Victoria Park still protects from our struggle against the clock.
Local solar time in Victoria Park is approximately ten seconds behind Greenwich Mean Time, prompting a re-establishment of local time on Stereochron Island. Haynes invites specialists and Park visitors to map a physical experience of time through data from field studies, for example: the rhythms of birds and plants; plotting shadows and the path of the sun; and mapping our internal sense of time. The events are accompanied by a website, Stereochron.org, drawing together factual insights, discoveries and images from the Victoria Park field studies, provoking participants to reconsider what time actually is.
Cathy Haynes (b. 1973) lives and works in London. She is an artist, curator and writer. Previous projects and exhibitions include A Storm is Blowing, UCL Petrie Museum, 2013; How to Map a Life, Rongwrong Gallery, Amsterdam, 2012 and No Such Place, QUAD, Derby, 2010. From 2006-09 Haynes collaborated with Sally O’Reilly to make Implicasphere, a serial mini-publication distributed inside Cabinet magazine. She has been a guest contributor for The Human Zoo on BBC Radio 4, Robert Elms on BBC London, and the Weekly programme on Monocle 24.
The Chisenhale Gallery Victoria Park Residency 2014-15 is produced for the third year in partnership with Tower Hamlets Parks and Open Spaces Department. Previous artists-in-residence included Cara Tolmie (2012-13) and Matthew Noel-Tod (2011-12). Victoria Park opened in the mid-nineteenth Century to give East Londoners access to clean air and green space away from the factories, sweatshops and slums. Victoria Park benefits from a recently completed programme to restore key historic elements, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It was voted Britain’s favourite park in 2012.