2015-06-21 – 2024-06-21 an Interview with Jennifer Rose Sciarrino
2015-06-21 – 2024-06-21 is a book work that charts the movement of the sun on the longest day of the year, June 21st, in Toronto, Canada, from the years 2015 to 2025. Images of the city’s sky are generated though 3D modelling software and converted to a colour halftone in CMYK colours. Each spread depicts a successive hour in the 24 hours of the day, rendering the passing of time tangible.
Laura Horne-Gaul: What is your personal relationship with time like?
Jennifer Rose Sciarrino: I'm sure my personal relationship with time is much like everyones, except I've been told I sometimes have bad time management skills. Time to me feels linear, stagnant, fleeting but oddly malleable. It is something I feel like I totally understand, something I can trust that is absolute. Relationships with time can be intimate yet time is also a villain when it has the tendency to elapse faster than we want it to. It is precious and in this way can cause anxiety. Being aware our mortality is so complex and intrinsic to how we struggle with time. Obsolesce of fleeting technologies and fluctuating and simultaneously stagnant ideologies presents shifts of time that can feel mysterious. The efforts that have been put into the accuracy of reading time, from sundials to atomic clocks, the need for accuracy fascinates me. From the perspective of someone that makes objects, especially when thinking about objects affected by natural light, the sun and shadows can completely change the way a sculpture looks and feels is something I think about often.
LHG: How did you visualize the idea for your book 2015-06-21 – 2024-06-21?
JRS: A few years ago I started using modeling software as a way to visualize complex geometry, and to design molds or pieces that would have a machined output. I started to experiment designing objects with the software when I noticed the objects could 'occupy' specific time and place (ie. Toronto on June 21st 2015 at 9:01am) or ambiguous non space non time. If a project needed to be designed for a specific place and time it can be visualized using these presets. An object or building can be envisaged with the bright afternoon light of June or the long shadows of December, depending on the direction the object is facing and in which part of the world the project is being planned to inhabit. I love the idea of subtle prediction and in a sense subtle science fiction. The ability to speculate what an object can look like in the near future and despite this being commonplace at this point to me is still an awesome concept. When you render an object in the space of these programs you can create algorithms that model the passage of time, and in a sense they appear real only to be experienced on a screen. I started to work with these ideas in my solo show at Daniel Faria Gallery in 2012, x, y, z, where one of the grounding works was a large wall piece You Pick the Place and I'll Choose the Time. The installation was comprised of 12 ink jet printed vinyl strips, reaching from the ground to the top of the 15 foot ceilings. Each print depicts a slice from the sky in Toronto on the longest day of the year, from 7am to 7pm successively. June 21st 2013 in Toronto was the imagery for the piece in x, y, z, while at NADA New York 2014 when the piece was shown the imagery was New York on June 21st 2015. The imagery is always of the location in which the piece will be shown and a slight future of the next coming summer solstice. The book is extension of that project. Anyway from all of this the visualization of the sky is a beautiful colour field and was hard to resist not working with. I brought it to a CMYK colour halftone to break up the image when you look at it closely and to accentuate how we comprehend colour in print media.
LHG: How does the book relate to your past work?
JRS: The book relates to most of my recent work in one way or another. In a way it is a kind of backdrop to all my recent work, especially since the visualization depicted in the book has literally acted as a backdrop for other sculptural work, at least in the planning stages. In North Facing on December 21st, the shadows of sculptures are sliced through a block of concrete with a waterjet, the shadows determined by using a software with the settings of December 21st, the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. In my last solo show Patterned Recognition at Daniel Faria Gallery, there is much more of an emphasis on digital texture mapping and how it relates to our conception of materials and their value, production and labour. That being so the work still resonates digital light and shadow as part of the way we understand materials through their attributes of refracting light.
LHG: What’s coming up for you in the future?
JRS: I'm participating in a bunch of group shows and i'm working on some new pieces for publications. I'll be doing an installation in the outside courtyard of 811 in September of this year while Karen Kraven is in the main space which I am excited about. There are a few online projects I'm working on as well that extends from ideas around the book; the passing of time and light on objects in specific locations which I hope to get off the ground shortly. Also I am hoping to start working with some video as well, but i'll need to get a new computer first.
Installation view at Daniel Faria Gallery, 2012, x, y, z