Contingency Plan
Contingency Plan









Contingency Plan

Date: 27-May-2006 – 25-Jun-2006

Location: Contemporary Art Tasmania

Contingency Plan follows on from curator Philip Watkins’ exhibition Free Time, shown at CAST in 2004. Both these exhibitions show the work of artists that regard their creativity as inextricably bound to a broader social context; work that deliberately establishes creativity in the mutable context of everyday interactions rather than as an independent inner process. Free Time stressed the incommensurable relationship between work time and the social/market value given it. Contingency Plan emphasises, the often-irreconcilable juncture between, the rationalisation of time and history and an authentic present experience of it.

The artists in Contingency Plan pit the rational structures of measured time (the calendar and history) against the unrepeatable contingencies that unfold within it. Recorded time – in works of video, photography and painting – correlate with the mechanical regulation of it. Its measurement becomes synchronized with the ubiquitous digital and photographic technologies that locate a person in space and time more objectively, in real-time, as never before.


We organise our daily lives by the clock and the calendar, life expectancy in decades and history in millennia; all measured and interconnected through rationalised units. To what degree these mechanically derived increments transcend or transform the experience of the world we live in, is addressed by the artists in Contingency Plan.

Doesn’t time, which waits for no one, trace our existence: potentially liberating us from the contingencies of human perception and frailty, give us a contextual structure in which to map out our history? Accurate time is now measured outside the gravitational forces of our own planet by atomic clocks, the mechanisms of which are driven by molecular oscillations thought to be independent of space-time variations. However, such accuracy is constantly compromised by existing infrastructures and the conditional truths of human consciousness and interactions. Likewise, reconciling the incremental abstraction of time with the present experience of it seems similarly impossible.

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