The Long Now

Verena Friedrich (DE )
The Long Now
© Bernard Bilodeau

Being one of the classical vanitas symbols, soap bubbles are often used as visual metaphors for the transient nature of life. A soap bubble usually exists only for a few seconds until the fragile equilibrium cannot be maintained any more and the bubble eventually bursts. Similar to a soap bubble, life exists only for a relatively short period of time before it pops out of existence. The Long Now explores the object of the soap bubble from a contemporary perspective, based on its chemical and physical properties and in reference to current developments in science and technology. The objective for The Long Now is to develop a machine that will prolong the lifetime of a soap bubble. The machinery generates a bubble, sends it into a controlled atmosphere chamber and keeps it in suspension for as long as possible. In parallel, the chemical composition of the bubble is altered in order to improve its durability. The installation is realized in the form of an experimental setup, in which the technologically enhanced bubble permanently oscillates between ephemerality and stabilization.


Grant: April–May 2015, OBORO (CA)