Katie Paterson

Katie Paterson
Katie Paterson, As the World Turns, 2010, collection Frac Franche Comté, photo: Blaise Adilon

As the World Turns, 2010

Modified record player, 33 rpm vinyl, 12 x 41 x 32 cm, edition 2/5

Work presented as part of the exhibition Echos d'une collection - Works by Frac Franche-Comté

A record player spins in sync with the earth, completing one revolution in 24 hours while "playing" Vivaldi's Four Seasons. The record spins imperceptibly and is, of course, difficult to hear. It would take four years to go through the vinyl from beginning to end. The movement of the record player is so slow that it is not visible to the naked eye.

The piece, like all the Scottish artist's work, links art with scientific knowledge of our universe and how it works. It may seem highly technical, but it is above all poetic.

As the World Turns also reflects Katie Paterson's preoccupation with blending different temporalities in her work. She reminds us that the time of the planets and stars and the time of our own days are indeed linked.

Katie Paterson

Born in Glasgow in 1981

Lives and works in London and Berlin

Katie Paterson works with scientists. Her works invite us to explore matter, life and the cosmos, to enter times unthinkable to our human minds. She reconnects science with poetry and with the human.

She recounts that this interest came to her while working in a hotel in Iceland after the first part of her studies in Edinburgh. "I saw northern lights, glaciers, geysers, lunar landscapes, the moon. It was an extraordinary time because everything that interests me was revealed there, and I hadn't realized it until then."

While these works are dreamlike, they also raise awareness. On rising sea levels, for example, with the First There is a Mountain project. In 2019 and 2020, thousands of people molded piles of sand on Britain's beaches in the shape of Kilimanjaro, Mount Fuji or Stromboli, which the waves destroyed.

The artist has bounced Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata off the surface of the moon in Morse code, translating the recovered data into almost identical music, lacking a few tones, played on a player piano(Earth-Moon-Earth, 2007); she has mapped the 27,000 stars known to be dead(All the Dead Stars, 2009); she has formed a string of planet-round beads from 170 fossils, each representing a major event in the evolution of life on Earth (2013)....

Since 2014, it has been growing a forest near Oslo to print books in 2114. Each year, an author, chosen from around the world, turns in a manuscript for this purpose, which is kept in a specially designed space in an Oslo library, awaiting its distant publication (www.futurelibrary.no).

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