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A contribution to the (Re)Search and Shareprogram of the Kunsthaus.

The video sculpture „Time–Image“ by Sybille Neumeyer was shown as part of the exhibition „Listening to the Stones“ curated by Miya Yoshida in collaboration with Christiane Mennicke Schwarz and Kerstin Flasche at the Kunsthaus Dresden 2021/2022. „time beyond measures“ gives insight into the artist’s research conducted in 2017 in dialogue with researchers of DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron in Hamburg).

In the exhibition space, we often only see the completed artworks – art, however, is continuously created, in a process of growth and change. The format (Re)Search & Share offers the possibility of a presentation of research, processes, intermediate states and artistic fields of experimentation. The artists‘ contributions in (Re)Search & Share offer the possibility of thematic deepening, of a change of perspective and of presenting material that often cannot be made accessible to the visitors of an exhibition.

»Does time cause gravity?«

The researchers at DESY investigate the structure, dynamics and function of matter in four research areas: Accelerators, Research with Photons, Particle Physics, and Astroparticle Physics.

In conversations with scientists, we discuss Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which states that where gravity is stronger, time passes more slowly – a phenomenon called time dilation. So gravity is stronger closer to the centre of the earth, which also means that time should pass more slowly closer to the ground. I am further told that according to Einstein, gravity is also caused by a deformation of space and time….






The HERA acceleration ring of DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron) in Hamburg.
Particle physics experiments were carried out in this accelerator until 2007.
The HERA acceleration ring of DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron) in Hamburg. Particle physics experiments were carried out in this accelerator until 2007.
DBP special stamp DESY 1984
DBP special stamp DESY 1984

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XFEL illustration
XFEL illustration
XFEL Montagehalle
XFEL Montagehalle


The time projection chamber (also called a track drift chamber) is a particle detector that allows a three-dimensional reconstruction of tracks of electrically charged particles. The TPC uses a combination of electric and magnetic fields together with a sensitive gas or liquid volume to perform a three-dimensional reconstruction of a particle trajectory or interaction.

Drift chamber of the ARGUS detector (in the DORIS storage ring, DESY) with over 30000 wires
Drift chamber of the ARGUS detector (in the DORIS storage ring, DESY) with over 30000 wires

»Projections of time…«

What time is our measure in a highly accelerated world?

Geologic time?

Physical time?

Celestial time, a cosmic rhythm?

Deep time?

Dream time?

Times of bodies?

The speed at which light travels through space?

Frames per second?


Does time exist if we cannot observe it? 

What happens with time when it is projected, mediated?

How does a cinematic time warp real time?

Can it create gravity? 


While the Anthropocene casts a geological perspective on time that loses sight of the question of corporeal temporality and the role of bodies in the history of geology, I ponder what we can learn from stones – which embody a deep time – about being in time? And how can we gain gravity, and slow down in an ever accelerating world?

„time is out of joint and presents itself in the pure state. The time-image does not imply the absence of movement (even though it often includes its increased scarcity) but it implies the reversal of the subordination; it is no longer time which is subordinate to movement; it is movement which subordinates itself to time. (Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 2, p.271)




»Can cinematographic spacetime warp our gravity, our groundedness in accelerated times?«

Inspired by Gilles Deleuze’s concept „time-image“, I translate so called „real time“, or the measure of our time measurement – the rotation of the earth, in a cinematographic experimental setting into a geological body that is projected onto a black screen, detached from gravity and any sense of space. Nevertheless, the earth’s rotational speed of 1670 km per hour at the equator and about 1000 km per hour at European latitudes cannot be perceived with the eye.

In my attempt of a direct representation of time, I move within a media fiction; the projection of the recorded „real time“ automatically throws it further into the past with each screening, with each rotation. Yet at the same time it opens up the idea of a time that progresses, as it were, both linearly and circularly, while moment and eternity nurture each other in an assumed standstill of the moving image.



»Dream-images […], they project the sensory-motor situation into infinity, sometimes by ensuring the constant metamorphosis of the situation, sometimes by replacing the action of characters with a movement of the world.« (Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 2, p.273)

Representative sequence of
Representative sequence of "Time-Image". The video has the length of a sidereal day (the rotation of the earth on its own axis), i.e. 23 hours 56 minutes and 4 seconds.
Video-Rendering von »Time–Image«
Video-Rendering von »Time–Image«
Installation von »time–image« im XFEL Test Tunnel
Installation von »time–image« im XFEL Test Tunnel
visitors entering the artist's
visitors entering the artist's "dark matter zone" in the XFEL Test Tunnel at DESY, 2017

»Dark matter: In a figurative sense, it refers to the unknown, that which lies in the shadows of consciousness and eludes our gaze and grasp. An immaterial projection surface that can be everything and nothing, a mystery that simultaneously blocks the imagination and opens up limitless imaginations. In the world of allegories and images, the physically induced particle collision can also be understood as an energy-driven post-alchemical „philosopher’s stone“ that is capable of producing the missing elementary particles instead of gold. The alchemical energies of transformation, which can transform phenomena of reality into other states and give form to the imperceptible, are fundamentally inherent in art: it itself functions as an accelerator of an expanded vision that opens up and holds out the prospect of other worlds of thought and images.«

(excerpt of the text „Magic Matter“ by Belinda Grace Gardner for „Dark Matter“, 2017, translation by Sybille Neumeyer)

Special thanks to Dr. Christin Schwanenberger, Marcel Große and the DESY team for supporting the project, as well as to Miya Yoshida and Kerstin Flasche.