*17th of March, 2020*

*This piece was originally published on the website RateYourMusic.com. The site only offers the ability to review music and film, but since all my work was already there and I had found friends and a very small audience there I decided to carry on posting my written work there.*

Sometimes art has an ability to make the fraternising of space and time intuitive. The mathematical model of spacetime in physics suggests that space and time are inseparable, but observation of real physical phenomena never really helps me digest this and make sense of it. I can know it, but not grasp it. Great art is capable of showing us truth though, often it is better at doing this than actually looking at things that are true. Alexander Calder's Small Sphere and Heavy Sphere is my favourite sculpture lately—it uses a simple dynamic system in the form of his familiar mobile to provoke a small ball into motion that is both chaotic and intuitive. The ball arcs through a space populated with a few objects arranged artfully but without much thought: bottles and jars mostly, but rather dramatically an upturned wooden box and a small gong also. Sometimes the ball collides with one of these objects and produces a discrete sound event, a satisfying ding or a momentous bonk.

It makes me think about how, when a quadratic linear equation defines a line, it brings all of it into existence at once. A curve in mathematics is sometimes described as the path traced by a point in motion, but the equation that describes the motion describes that motion infinitely. Every step is instantly calculated and the point never actually has to make the infinite journey the equation describes. The curve is an eternal monolith: just space without any time at all. The path of the small sphere, given how intuitive it is, lets us see a few seconds ahead of time where the sphere will actually be, which means that as it approaches the objects we can see the impact before it happens and begin to relish the anticipation of the collision. The movement of the sphere, which actually is a point tracing a path through a space, is so well defined that I can look at the motion and see, all at once as through looking at a curve, the history of the motion. The music that is produced by Calder's sculpture is described entirely in spatial terms, but as with all music it manifests as sounds that ‘happen’ on a timeline from past to future.