the white colour circle

I went to the Olafur Eliason exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art a few weeks ago. There was a lot there to wonder at, but the piece that fascinated me most of all was The white colour circle. I spent a long time looking at it, went away and then came back again to sit down in front of it and look some more. So many shades of white like so many shades of nothing. Or, so many shades of everything.

If time does not flow like a river, if the moments we live can be not consecutive, if they can be like the pigeon holes with the light shining on them in random order in Fred Hoyle’s October the First is Too Late, then I see all the shades of white and almost-white as another representation of this idea.

But it also made me think about living moments concurrently. Scientifically, I’m sure this doesn’t work because our consciousness can only be in one place at one time, but what if? What if all those different shades of white were all the moments we could live at the same time? Like all the radio stations playing on the dial at once in Jeanette Winterson’s Tanglewreck.

In each patch of white lives a moment. But is it predetermined or is it ours to do as we please with?

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