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The Constructs of Art & Time, or:

by gustav on May 21, 2014
...getting a little philosophical before lunch.

Today at the studio, we were talking about the wood used in the GR pieces, where it comes from, and what it means to work so closely with these materials. I consider it an honor. "It isn't about time or what's old or what's new," I said. "Because time is made up." And the materials, warm and strong, we can hold in our hands.

In a Smithsonian Magazine article published two winters ago -- when the hunker-down and wait-it-out habits of the season (and time!) were in full swing -- writer Joshua Keating asked, how does time function in society? Anthropologists have concluded that not only is time a human construct, it is one that differs from culture to culture. From the theories of anthropologist Edward T. Hall:

"In monochronic societies, including Europe and the United States, time is perceived as fixed and unchanging, and people tend to complete tasks sequentially. In polychronic societies, including Latin America and much of Asia, time is more fluid and people adapt more easily to changing circumstances and new information." [emphasis mine]

Art is polychronic, but the craft of it is monochronic, I think. Working in the studio, I experience both senses of time. Art transgresses time, and art transgresses cultural understandings of time. Which is pretty neat. 

In the studio, I use craft traditions established long ago, and also some of the newest technology. Lately, for instance, I've been experimenting with a 3D-printer, in order to find new forms and possibilities. 

Gustav Reyes 3D-printer studio image
our new 3D-printer, alongside an important reminder: "Let the tree hug you."

As process and technology evolve, our sense of time evolves, our sense of art evolves, and so too our connection with each other, citizens of the universe. When I look at something like the Signature Organic Coil bracelet, its ebonized white oak, its elegance and deceptive simplicity, I see all of this within it. 

Gustav Reyes Signature Organic Coil bracelet

Art is a pure, pulsing thing within the complicated network of nature and all life, and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Now it's time to get a bite.