In the middle of the molecules is a solitary orb that shows the temperature. It moves up and down, and changes from blue to red to signify hot and cold respectively. While the cluster shows the weather that is on its way, thus illustrating the future, the base of the installation shows the past, in the form of sedimentary rock types, a cross-section of ice and clay that create geological staircases over the years and reveal historical climate changes.
Moreover, when we encounter this piece, we are at the Stockholm Central Station, with times to keep, either on our way somewhere, or commuting between work and home. And as we pass by and read its shapes and colours, alongside departures and arrivals, each individual “now” is juxtaposed to the work’s past and future.
The debate about the climate has begun in earnest, as we are discovering the dire consequences of climate change. But Bigert & Bergström’s installation takes the climate issue one step further, since their work exists between all the weather that ever existed and that which is approaching. What happens is that we, almost unwittingly, are led towards thoughts reminiscent of critical epistemology – questioning how we know what we know, and how we know that we can question it at all.
The work’s concept of time and space prompts us to consider the institutions that create our chronological spaces, and how they operate. It points to the urgency of exploring the current transformations of historical awareness, and highlights the nature of our relationship, right now, to all that has been and that which will come. As we glide past the work, standing still in the escalators going up or down, it becomes clear, as though through our bodily-situated experience, that while many disciplines historicise, few show what is yet to come, and this gap may be more significant than the question of whether or not it is going to rain.