Touch Me Festival: It's about time!

time: 10.11.2014. - 15.12.2014.
place: Zagreb, Croatia
organiser: Kontejner
Touch Me Festival is an international triennial transdisciplinary project dedicated to the progressive integration of art, science and technology, and has existed since 2003. In 2014, in its fourth edition, Touch Me Festival: It's about time! deals with the theme of time through innovative concepts of contemporary scientific and artistic research.

Fascination with time is common to the artistic and to the science-and-technology community and is one of the places of their most thorough permeation, while the dynamics of scientific advances combined with the power of the artistic vision deconstructs social and cultural paradigms and generates new, unconventional, hybrid perspectives that look at time critically, innovatively and provocatively.

In 1751 the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus proposed in his book Philosophia Botanica a very uncommon way of measuring time – with a flower garden. Given plants open and close their flowers at precisely set times, according to which he composed a clock with twelve floral sections.

He described three groups of flowers: a) meteoric flowers, those that change their time of opening and closing depending on weather conditions; b) tropical flowers, flowers that change their time of opening and closing depending on the length of day; c) equinoctial flowers, which have a fixed time to open and close their petals. Only the last are suitable for a floral clock. For example, the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) opens at 5, the Savoy hawkweed (Hieracium sabaudum) opens at 7 and closes between 13 and 14 hours; the pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) closes at 15 hours. Although it is dubious just how accurate this kind of clock would be because of the different factors that affect the opening of the flowers, like height above sea level, climate and so on, and the fact that his garden-clock is not exactly practical to carry about with you, Linnaeus’ horologium florae is aesthetically a luxuriant and romantic idea for the measurement of time. Read more…

(D.H., 05.11.2014)