Installation and SlowMotion

"I thought everything turning into slow motion meant I was about to die."

On the morning of my middle school graduation day, on my way to school, my friend got hit by a car but miraculously came out unscathed. When I rushed over, that's what he told me. I was relieved he was okay and found myself curious about what slow motion felt like. Nearly 20 years later, during a street installation, I experienced everything in slow motion.

At the time of the installation, I was living alone in Tokyo, endlessly consuming content every day since there was no one around to talk to. Before I knew it, it was late at night, and the day had ended in the blink of an eye. With technology evolving rapidly, constantly gathering information with my iPhone and my Google Calendar filling up, I felt chased by time. Repeating similar days, the end of the year came suddenly, and looking back, I was astonished at how fast time had passed.

As a child, a year seemed much longer. Now, as I age, time feels faster, like riding a roller coaster speeding towards the end of life. Feeling this wasn't right, I asked around, only to be told it was normal. Maybe I was just overthinking. Nevertheless, I remained in my current state, albeit with lingering unease.

On May 20, 2012, around 3:00 PM, I started a solo street installation. Using a road near Jiyugaoka, Tokyo, as my canvas, I scattered a whitish resin.

Passersby looked on with puzzled faces as the whitish resin slowly spread over the slightly decayed road. "What is this!?" I thought it resembled an abstract painting where nature clashes with artificial objects, and then everything went into slow motion.

During the slow motion, I could control which sensory information to focus on: the expressions of passersby, the rustling sound of leaves in the wind, the sensation of wind passing over my body, and noticing quite a few ants and other insects at my feet. I could feel each piece of information simultaneously, a completely different sense of time from everyday life.

Could the solution to feeling time speed up as one ages be found in today's installation?

My unease suddenly vanished, and I was convinced (perhaps mistakenly?) that this was what I had been searching for.

After a while, the police arrived, and I was taken aside for questioning. I noticed a crowd had gathered around my installation, causing a traffic obstruction.

Though I tried to appear calm, as more police cars arrived, I grew anxious inside. After explaining the situation, the police scolded me to clean up immediately. I began cleaning at a speed one might expect from a professional cleaner. By the time I realized, it was too late. I hadn't taken any record photos... In a rush, I took photos of the cleaned-up remains. After cleaning up thoroughly, I was allowed to go, so I quickly left the scene on my bike.

On the bike ride home, I began to understand the problem with the phenomenon of time feeling faster as one ages.