Analemma with date marks, printed on a globe, Globe Museum, Vienna, Austria.
The power of imagination makes us infinite.John Muir, Scottish-American naturalist, 1938.
If you took a picture of the sky at the same time each day from the same point of view, you could see that the Sun does not always occupy the same position; It describes a closed curve in the form of eight that is known by the name of Analemma.
The apparent change in the Sun's position in the sky is determined by two factors: the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit around the Sun and the tilt of the Earth's axis of rotation relative to the plane of its orbit. The word "analemma" comes from the Ancient Greek verb "analambanein", which meant "carry, resume, repair" and originally designated the pedestal of a sundial.
Analemma A14 2016.
Photo by Giuseppe Donatiello.
Inspired by this fascinating curve, Carlos Alonso Pascual has created Lemniscata splendens, a lamp that is an invitation to reflect on the shape of time.
Life is a full circle, widening until it joins the circle motions of the infinite.Anaïs Nin, Journals 1934-1939.
In algebraic geometry, a lemniscate is a figure eight or infinity shaped curve.
The word comes from the Greek "lêmniskos", which means "ribbon". The study of lemniscates dates back to Proclus Lycius, a Greek philosopher and mathematician who lived in the 5th century BC. Proclus considered the different sections of a torus by planes parallel to its axis. As he noted, most sections consist of one or two ovals; however, when the plane is tangent to the internal surface of the torus, the cross section draws a figure eight.
One of the most interesting lemniscates is named after the Italian mathematician Vincenzo Viviani (1622-1703). The Viviani's window is a three-dimensional curve resulting from the intersection of a sphere of radius R with a cylinder of radius R/2 that is tangent to the sphere. Viviani introduced this curve as an architectural problem relating to the creation of windows on a hemispherical dome.
In 1656, the English mathematician John Wallis introduced the infinity symbol as a lemniscate in one of his most important works: Arithmetica Infinitorum. Although it is possible that the shape comes from other alchemical or religious symbols, such as certain representations of the Ouroboros serpent, some specialists defend that it is the lemniscate corresponding to the phenomenon known as Analemma.
El amarillo de los bosquesPablo Neruda, Libro de las preguntas, 1974.
es el mismo del año ayer?
y se repite el vuelo negro
de la tenaz ave marina?
y donde termina el espacio
se llama muerte o infinito?
qué pesan más en la cintura,
los dolores o los recuerdos?
The ancient Greeks had three gods of time: Chronos, Aion and Kairos.
Chronos is the god of sequential, numerical time, the arid succession of events that inevitably passes, the profane time that linearly leads us into the future. In Greek mythology, Chronos devours his children to prevent them from rising up against him. He is the god who annihilates everything and everyone to preserve his eternity.
Aion is the time of life. He is the lord of the infinite and of the immobile, of what is neither born nor dies, of the perfect. Child and old man at the same time, in Aion the duration of time is perceived as an immersion without beginning or end. He sometimes appears surrounded by a snake, the Ouroboros that bites its tail to indicate the eternal return. Iterative and cyclical, Aion becomes the time of the artistic project and the aesthetic experience.
We spend most of our time in the dimension of chronological time: the time of the clock, of work and technology, where thought develops along a logical-rational line. We forget that there are other ways of experiencing the world, where reason is not enough. The time of Aion exists: the time of the eternal being and returning, of the perfect action that carries the end in itself, of the philosophical thought, of the conscience.
Kairos, finally, is the capricious god of opportunity, that fleeting moment in which something important happens. Kairos is the occasion, the favorable moment that changes the destiny of man. He passes and leaves. It is a time, but also a place, a space different from eternal time or from the movement of the hands of the clock. It is a node in a network of relationships. Kairos is what makes Aion appear in the middle of Chronos, causing everything to change. Unique and unrepeatable, he is always yet to come and, at the same time, has always passed. There is no way to predict it.
Lemiscata slendens is a lamp that is proposed as a collective reflection on time. A cultural artefact that, in the arid land of Chronos, invites you to create other different ways of living and experiencing time.
An integrating time that allows us to overcome the cycle of anxiety and constant dissatisfaction of the monotonous and predictable daily life to make events happen, to create possibilities, to explore them from life and its variety, and not from the death of our complacency and our disdain.
A time that transforms the duration, the measure and the countdown into an eternal time, that gives meaning and purpose to our actions. A time of life, an eternity enclosed in just a blink.
Lemniscata splendens uses a double Viviani curve -with branches of different widths- to create a unique luminaire, a golden ribbon that envelops the time and the dreams of humans. Suspended under this ribbon, three celestial bodies tell us about chaos and phenomena that do not respond to linear dynamics.
Splendens is a Latin epithet meaning "bright, shining, splendid". Time of Chronos, Aion and Kairos.
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