Rock Standard Time (RST)
Big Medium
March 6 – April 4 (postponed March 17)
(reopened) August 13 – September 5, 2020
Austin, TX

Rock Standard Time (RST) - time is on our side

A true leap consists in introducing invention into existence. The buck stops with us. [1]

Our relationship to time has increasingly become a source of anxiety and unsustainability. Rather than being in time and of it, we feel we are continually chasing after it and never catching up. How might we change these associations? How can we have time outside of imposed standards misaligned with our best interests? Can we rush, if we must, but slowly? Perhaps different tools and references for marking time can help.

The exhibited works in Rock Standard Time (RST) offer perceptual tools and references for those looking to conjugate their present, collapse their tenses –remembering that both the past and future coexist in this moment. By shifting perspective, we can acknowledge the different scales for counting time – universe, stars, planet, rock, tree, human civilization, documented history - down to the years, days, and seconds of a single human lifetime. Time is always a reference to something else, so choose your reference carefully!
The human lifetime is a blink of the eye to a stone, but thousands of generations to our microbiome. Our galaxy still reels with the energy of the Big Bang and the stars that exploded forth the elements that transit through our body. Our reaction time is 250 milliseconds, our perception horizon is 13 milliseconds, but atoms and particles go through countless cycles beyond that horizon, and the photon exists beyond time itself.

Everything is now. It is all now. [2]

Rock Standard Time (RST) is a zone to res(e)t your clock and consider that we are part of time ourselves so time has to be on our side. It’s up to us to take a radical leap refusing obedience to the accelerated ticking that has us convinced we have no time to respond to ourselves, to each other, nor our world.

On the exhibition Rock Standard Time (RST) - Tito's Prize 2020 Curatorial Panel

Glasstire Five-Minute Tours: Betelhem Makonnen at Big Medium, Austin


Arts & Culture Texas Magazine

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[1] Sylvia Wynter quoting Franz Fanon in Wynter, Sylvia. "Unsettling the Coloniality of Being/Power/Truth/Freedom: Towards the Human, After Man, Its Overrepresentation - An Argument." CR: The New Centennial Review, vol. 3 no. 3, 2003, p. 257-337. Project MUSE. Pg. 331.

[2] Morrison, Toni. Beloved: A Novel. New York: Knopf, 1987. Pg. 198.

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