A project by Olafur Eliasson for the 12th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, 2010.
A split second is the space between two seconds. The gap between past and future; not just now, but the part of now that is a void. This void seems static, frozen in time. In it, nothing changes. What might change is the way we relate to it. Habitual coordinates such as subject and object, inside and outside, gravity and antigravity with which we normally navigate are freed up. This feeling of reconstituting our way of experiencing the world can happen suddenly, in a jolt, as if it doesn’t occupy a graspable period of time. We do not feel the split second, but only realise afterwards that we have lived through one.
To quote my friend Otto Rössler: ‘How long does it take an astronaut to get out of a black hole? About a day, but for people who are not in the hole, the astronaut takes forever. Only very few people know this.’