Stroking Time

The erosion of a stone is not seen in real-time. Only in the passing of centuries, currents, and people, the products of present actions can be seen, thus the stone allows us to experience a different scale of time. In archaeology, a stone is considered a finding only after a human being has touched it. Without such contact, the stone remains in its natural place. However, when intervention is documented, the stone is preserved, dated, and stored. The fifth stop of Via Dolorosa, for instance, is a niche in a stone which, according to Christian tradition, is an imprint that was created when Jesus stumbled and placed his hand on the wall in order to maintain his balance. For centuries, the touch of pilgrims smoothed the stone in a process of wearing. As a result, the stone not only absorbed the human touch but also received with exemplary silence the stories we attached to it. Stroking Time strives to perform in a duality between the physical and the digital spaces, between real-time movement of the here and now, and the speculative future offered by the digital simulation. Each stone “borrowed” from the outskirts of the city has its own device, a private machine. The stone-stroking movement is a minor, almost microscopic act of design, transforming a mindless action into an intentional act of forming nature, designed on a scale of eternity.

Keren Kuenberg, Shir Senior