“In a time between nothing and now, one thousand particles of a certain type took hold of each other and shook themselves together. In the darkness they inhaled and exhaled the primordial dust of their surroundings, a gritty perfume that only inhabits the deepest caverns. In the vast expanses of this ether, the echo of four hundred organs vibrated the emptiness and propelled the new form forward at an accelerated velocity that followed the exact trajectory of a sine wave. Stuck on this perpetual roller coaster, the particles held on to each other, each piece grasping the membrane of their neighbor. Together they sighed, for none could discern where this ride would end, or if there was anything else to do but tolerate it.”
–Text written by artist and inscribed on the walls of Observatorio in chalk.
Within the dome of the observatory, I imagine myself as an astronomer looking for the first time upon a comet, tracking a planet’s orbit or measuring the distance from the earth to a newly discovered star. I meditate on the moment of solitude that must have occurred, an observer face to face with a discovery, the light from the celestial phenomena or the atmospheric flames.
Installed inside an old cistern in Joutsa, Finland, Observatorio is an observatory that functions only in the daytime. From inside, the daylight infiltrates tiny pin pricks in the walls creating a magnificent “night” sky. Above, in the dome, a vision of a planet or a star is projected. It’s body transforms and flickers, as light swirls across it like alien atmospheric winds. Throughout the space the groans of old machinery can be heard, as if the telescope is searching the heavens for more celestial visions. Four paragraphs are written in chalk upon the walls of the cistern, coming in and out of focus from the light of the flashing projection. The text hypothesizes an alternate theory of the big bang, and for all we know it could be occurring somewhere, at this moment, deep in space.