Medialab-Prado Madrid

Outside Time

27 June 2008
place: Medialab-Prado. Plaza de las Letras, C/ Alameda, Madrid



Paul Friedlander: Outside Time

My life was changed in a single day while I was an undergraduate studying physics and mathematics. That day in 1970 I saw one of the greatest exhibitions of kinetic and cybernetic art. I did not give up my studies but I discovered a new passion. I began to create kinetic art.

Amongst the artists whose work inspired me, one stood out, Nicholas Schoffer. Many years later, I had the good fortune to meet Schoffer's widow. She still lives in the studio where he worked in Paris and she has kept a large collection of his work. I begin by showing photos from the studio and then show a selection from the many works I have made over the years since.

In 2006, I exhibited the Gate of Time in Milan and shortly after Timeless Universe in Valencia. Reading "The End of Time" by Julian Barbour has sparked my interest in time. I have reflected deeply on the subject and concluded that there is something flawed about our conventional understanding of the subject. In the final part of this talk I will present research supporting the conjecture that it may be possible to receive messages from the future.

Our changing understanding of time begins with Einstein's Special Relativity. With absolute time abolished, the concept of 'now' becomes ambiguous. John Wheeler and Richard Feynman added to the mystery proposing a theory where light moves backwards and forwards through time. More recently John G Cramer suggested that it might be possible to send signals backwards through time. Most physicists are sceptical, but I have shown in my own research that messages from the future do not lead to logical contradiction. I challenge scientists to think again. If we try hard enough, I believe we can sense the future.