within a second

by Arnold Reinthaler

Series (86 400 pieces), engraving, Thassos marble, each 100 x 45 x 2cm, 2007–

In ‘within a second’, Reinthaler investigates the smallest chronological division in general use, the second. How can a second be “grasped”, haw can it be “modelled”? In this series of works, the artist translates a second of digital time (for example,“19:13:25”) into shorthand, and then engraves the written version in stone.The second appears arrested in time, it is transcribed in the “timeless” materiality of stone as if were frozen forever and “timelessly” preserved. By alternating between ontological enquiries into the nature of time and its symbo- lisation, Reinthaler stages the fixing of a moment in time as a semiotic paradox. After all, shor thand usually ser- ves as an accelerated form of writing, and this is juxtaposed with the medial specificity of the oldest mnemonic medium: stone. If we look more closely, we realise that the artist has not symbolised a second in the engraving of the series, but rather the transition from one second to the next. Where the shorthand stops, the “non- time” in between is noted with a line.

David Komary, Translation: Deborah Holmes, 2008
Tags conceptual, series, stone
Technique Installation

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