DeepTime RapidTime

Grand Arts, Kansas City, MO


“Deep Time Rapid Time” is a laboratory/training site for sensing and rethinking temporality. At the center of the investigation is a philosophical question about how we sense time which, spurse argues, holds deep practical and political implications for our contemporary situation and for our rapidly changing future.
Today we inhabit a world full of multiple new temporalities. But what does it mean for us that we inhabit multiple new forms of time? What is the impact of this in our lives? What is the impact of this in our bodies, our ecosystems, our languages, our ethics, our vision? Think about the half-life of nuclear materials that range into the millions of years. What does it mean to have developed a material that is highly disruptive for a future that is far longer than all of human history? What new forms of causality can even attempt to grasp this duration in terms of prediction for present actions? What challenge does this have to ethics systems that are primarily face to face in the here and now? Then think of rapid climate change, life style and event-based consumer subjectivities, these are all new forms of time sweeping through us and our world.
“Deep Time Rapid Time” begins with questions such as these and aims to address them at levels beyond abstraction or representation—viewing them as embodied worldly problems which can be creatively and collaboratively engaged to create “new modes of enaction” using a wide range of experimental strategies. As such, the project is also conceived as an “elaborate emergent trial/game,” with materials and logics drawn from the realms of clothing and textile design, plant biology and engineering, paleontology, architecture, philosophy, rare book holdings, augmented reality/visualization research, and numerous other sources.


Spurse began by developing a series of research areas into sensing within forms of temporality. They include: (1) Building an emergent cosmology generator as a way to begin generating hypotheses (2) Investigating deep time of the site (Kansas) by doing paleontological research into the Western Interior Seaway that covered much of North America from 120 million years ago to 60 million years ago (3) Consulting with the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas on their research developing plants that reach back towards the early prairie and into the future conditions of climate (4) Working with Kansas City Art Institute students to develop prototypes for clothing as mobile architecture for migration/sensing time (5) Conducting Situated Visualization and Augmented Acoustic research with David Jensenius and Sean White at Columbia University (6) Exploring rapid climate change and cultural logics of time in Nunavut (7) Conducting archival research at the Linda Hall Library on histories of systems for sensing and conceptualizing temporality (8) Developing proprioceptive and multi-scalar wayfinding systems for the Cuyahoga River, Cleveland (9) Testing ways of listening to entangled systems as politics in Denver (10) Setting up the gallery space at Grand Arts as a laboratory/training ground for sensing new forms of temporality, and (11) Conducting ongoing research and workshops during the period of the exhibit.


Clothing/architecture workshop with the students of the Kansas City Art Institute
Clothing temporalities workshop with Erin Manning and Brian Massumi


  • Grand Arts, Kansas City, MO
    Linda Hall Library, Kansas City, MO
    the Land Institute, Salina, KS
    Glen Rockers/ Paleosearch, Inc., Hays, KS
    Sean White, Columbia University, NY
    David Jensenius, New York, NY
    Kathryn Zaremba and students of the Kansas City Art Institute
    the Peary-Mac-Millan Arctic Museum, Brunswick, ME
    Richard Wyma, Nunavut Parks & Special Places, Nunavut
    Eva Eseemailee Artist, Nunavut
    Michele Bertol Planning and Lands, City of Iqaluit, Nunavut
    Mathew Nuqingaq, Artist, Nunavut, and many others.
    Data Driven Lighting Structures in collaboration with Kyle Klipowicz, Chicago, IL
    Nomadic Clothing/Architecture System in collaboration with: Kathryn Zaremba and students from the Spurse/KCAI
    Augmented Clothing Systems Seminar, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO;
    Sensing Temporality Colthing Design Workshop with: Erin Manning, Montreal, Canada and Brian Massumi, Montreal, Canada;
    Nunavut Consultants: Beth Beattie, Michele Bertol, Eva Eseemailee, Brian Lunger, Matt Nuqingaq, Mary Ellen Thomas, Danny Wade, Richard Wyna;
    Building, Fabrication and Planting Assistants: Brandon Barr, Sara M. Cramer, Evan Davies, Andy Erdrich, Joe Fuller, Amelia Ishmael, Colin Liepelt, Stewart Lossee, Sarita Mahinay, Julie Malen, J. Ashley Miller, Carmen Moreno, Charlie Mylie, Justin Randel, Andrew Roth, Paul A. Smith Jr., Elisha, Stetson, Destiny Vinley, Simon Wunderlich;
    Case Design Assistants: Carolyn Hopkins and Heather Lawless;
    Lighting Assistants: Colin Leipelt and J. Ashley Miller.

  • How can we sense and touch the Great Inland Sea that blanketed the Midwestern United States 65 million years ago? Why does it feel so uncanny to find a seashell in a field? As the Arctic melts, could we be headed toward a redux of this vast inland waterway? If water levels continue to rise, where will human and animal populations be displaced to? Will we become permanent refugees or nomads? What models for nomadic sustenance, clothing and shelter on the move already exist? Could spurse’s temporary laboratory and training ground help us work through some of these problems? What objects and tools have been assembled in Grand Arts’ space, and what can be done with them? Moreover, what can they do to us? Is the object before you a table or a map? If you try to use it as a table, will it fall apart? Should you try anyway? There is work to be done. – Stacy Switzer, Grand Arts and spurse