Olga Ast

Fleeing from Absence:
four cross-disciplinary essays
on time,
its nature and its interpretations

Edited by Julia Druk
Limited Numbered Edition
Design & Illustrations by Olga Ast
Published with support from Ugly Duckling Presse
ISBN: 978-1-933254-57-9
Pages: 100



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In Fleeing from Absence, Olga Ast explores the nature and interpretations of time in four essays: "The Visualization of Time," "In search of Absent Time," "The Origin of Forms" and "A Copy Machine." Eschewing narrow distinctions between disciplines traditionally employed to discuss the concept of time, Ast blends evidence and opinions from art, science, philosophy and literature into a cohesive whole. While the cross-disciplinary approach of combining the arts with science is increasingly popular, Ast believes that we have yet to see a true collaboration between them. Her book and other interdisciplinary projects attempt to establish a new medium that not confined to art or science but drawn from both.

Ast has presented her work at the Kloone 4000 Science/Art International Project; Rutgers, New York, Moscow, Carleton and Goettingen Universities, University of Michigan, City University of New York, the Current Space Gallery, The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of the Imagination at the NY Psychoanalytic Institute and NYC Future Salon. In 2009, she organized and curated the ArcheTime Conference and Exhibition dedicated to exploring artistic, academic and scientific concepts of time (The Tank Space for Performing and Visual Arts, New York).

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Olga Ast's work as a conceptual interdisciplinary artist investigates the connection between space, time and information, and the impact that they have on everything that we find around us.

Julia Druk is a digital product manager for Marvel Comics by day, and a writer, translator, and rogue literary editor by night. She has edited Fleeing from Absence and her own essays and ruminations on technology and society have been published in Infinite Instances: Studies and Images of Time (2011), among others. Druk's latest fictional work was published in 1920: The Roaring Anthology (2013)

The notion of Time has always mystified and attracted the speculation of human cultures and civilizations. What is its nature? Where does it come from, and where is it going? Is it possible to fool it, to build a time machine? Scientists, philosophers, and religious figures have all attempted to answer such questions - yet we are still left with few answers. Can Art help in this inquiry? If we combine previous work toward a solution of the Time Conundrum with the application of artistic inquiry and art history, we may have a better picture of the way that humans have understood time, have visualized it, and have possibly misinterpreted it for generations.

We must lastly ask what is closer to 'true' description of reality - a poem or mathematical equation, a musical composition or chemical formula. Can the collection of different and often contradictory ideas collaborate in order to help us to answer questions about the nature of time.

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