Hi Bjørn, thanks for the thoughtful explanation, which I suspected would take longer than a second. ;)
The idea of compression into the ever-present-present of now is indeed an interesting idea, an idea that is fundamental to our short-attention-span intake of media. I think what through me off was the video documentation of the project, which didn’t reveal (I believe) that glorious explosion of compression you describe. Is it possible to see that (again)?
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For me, a responsible for this second, it's partly about technological time - the leap second is a product of our technology, and our dependency on it. What time do we live in, how do we measure ourselves, does a "day" have something to do with the earth, or rather with atoms? There's an enstrangement here, in the sense of a technological other, cracks in the production of time, comparable to a glitch esthetic, certainly a glitch event on a global scale.
Another point, the precarity of the digital - in what sense does it exist if it's so easily transmutable, deleted, lost, in spite of its insistent, prevalent massiveness (which feels like a mockery and hubris at times). In a way, playing back the same existential conditions onto what it proposes us, staging an event which is questioning itself if it's an event or not - if it is significant or not, or what an event is in a mediated world of concurrent timelines fighting for your one second of attention - because did it really happen if not mediated? The ambivalence has interested me, technically, philosophically. Unix systems doesn't implement leap seconds, from what I read, they just repeat the last 59th, so in that sense the event actually didn't take place on the website (running on unix) - one of the works of the festival actually investigated this through a "network performance".
In reality the festival was broadcasting for an hour, previewing work before the leap second event at 23:59:60 where I tried to show all the works within one second - it looked and sounded like an explosion...
- regards, Bjørn