OCTOBER 11th - 20th




Sequences real time art festival is an artist run biennial held in Reykjavík, Iceland. The aim of the festival is to produce and present progressive visual art. Founding members of and responsible for Sequences are Kling & Bang galleri (est. 2003), the Living Art Museum (est. 1978) and the Icelandic Art Center. Sequences is a non-profit organisation.

c/o Icelandic Art Center

Gimli, Laekjargata 3
101 Reykjavik

00354 5627262     



Kristján Leósson

„No equation
to explain the division of the senses
No sound to reflect
the radiance of time“

(Patti Smith & Fred Smith, It takes time)

The concepts “real” and “time” are necessary deceptions – made-up constructs that cannot withstand any close scrutiny but nevertheless represent, however uncomfortably, the fundamental framework of our self-reflection as well as our spatial and interpersonal relations.

Each of us decides – as if this was any other mundane task – what constitutes “real” in the world. This requires, however, that most of what presumably actually is “real” is ignored – the perceived “real” world arises through the filtering of the senses and our inability to process more than a small fraction of the vast amount of information that we are presented with.

The collective imagination that we share a single common “reality” is a coarse but typically unavoidable approximation. A part of this approximation of an imagined “reality” is the idea that we jointly participate in a flow of time – time that we can neither see nor measure, but without which we can have no existence, no voice, no imagination.

When discussing “time,” we often treat the future practically as a concrete entity, in spite of it never having existed and the fact that, by definition, it will never be experienced. Similarly, it can be argued that the past can be viewed only as an abstract construct – a combination of all possible pasts. We build a mental picture of the so-called past from the entangled network of entities that we sense in the present, entities that (seem to) pile up more rapidly than they disappear or decay.

What we are left with, therefore, is the present moment alone. This small (but not infinitesimally small) interval that we are stuck in is, however, similarly elusive – we do not share our present with others and not even with our closest environment. We do not know how to define the extent of the present, we only know that it is fleetingly short and never-ending – when it ends, everything ends.

The physical laws of nature are generally symmetric with respect to the direction of time and, consequently, any discussion about time passing forwards or backwards is meaningless – with the exception of the inevitably increasing entropy of the universe, seeking to wipe out everything to which we ascribe meaning. In this context, our existence and our creativity can be considered as instances of time locally flowing backwards. Were the universe to start contracting instead of expanding, this would be reversed, meaningful entities would spontaneously and constantly come into being and those possessing the ability to find ingenious ways of temporarily halting the ceaseless universal creativity would be called artists.
It is quite possible that paradoxes involving the unreality of time and reality are best “solved by walking” – solvitur ambulando – as Diogenes of Sinope allegedly did when presented with Zeno’s argument for the impossibility of motion. This judgement, however, is best left to the readers to render for themselves.

Kristjan Leosson holds degrees in physics, engineering and philosophy. During the past two decades he has mainly focused on applied research in optics, materials science and nanotechnology, within academia, industrial research institutes and start-up companies. He has also participated in many collaborative cross-disciplinary projects with specialists from a wide range of fields, from biology and pharmacology to design and visual arts. He currently works as Technical Director of the start-up company DT-Equipment.