Stand Still – Drift Theories

In 1912 Alfred Wegener presented the theory of “Continental Drift,” that the Earth’s continents once were joined together but had drifted across the globe over time. This idea dramatically shifted perceptions because until then, we considered our space, together with time, to be constant.

I wondered, if space drifts over time, perhaps can time drift over space.

This was my moment of artistic discovery.

What if time, like the measured ticking of a clock, actually drifts and is not so measured? What if time drifts and moments really don’t flow in sequence? In memories, we experience time drifting from a linear path and skipping moments. What moments do we actually remember? ? What if there is a reason to why it sometimes feels like time passes slowly and sometimes fast. Most importantly, what would it look like in a photo?

For centuries artists have been fascinated with presenting a span of time all in one space. Guillaume Apollinaire wrote in Cubism’s third principal manifesto that he Cubist work “endeavored to find an aesthetic form that could encompass, at the same time, on one glance in the past, the present and the future.”

Photography is painting with light, time and space. I discovered what would be my contribution to artistic time warping, using an old malfunctioning analogue camera. Instead of freezing one particular moment I am letting time, space and perspective drift within a frame.

My are image from five continents. Continents once joined, but they have now drifted apart over time. This is a drift not only in space and time but also in our perceptions, our memories. My technique allows me to capture the whole world in one image. But I do not need to fly all over the world to travel in time. I can for example capture my beloved little sons whole life in one image. This freedom absolutely fascinates me and compels me to keep experimenting, exploring and traveling with my old camera.

Jacob Felländer, Stockholm 2007

“Sometimes a deconstructed image comes closer to the essence of a thing than being in the presence of the thing
Anybody who travels (and we all do) knows that what you retain is an overlay of images and movements, a blur more than a narrative.

“I was there too, in India, at the same time as Jacob, and the pictures I took of the colorful and the exotic don’t at all look like the trip I remember.

It’s possible that, years later,you look at your travelogue snapshots and they have slid into sharper focus.

Maybe this is because travel across distances is much like one’s travel through time, in the sense that you can only have perspective on aspects of being 17 when you’re 33. In some cultures (certainly not ours), people believe that the trees and the waves and the mountains are spirits and Gods, and they are feared, loved and respected.If you look closely at the pictures in this book, you can see those spirits, and they’re moving.”

Nina Persson,
New York, August 2007