Why it pays to take your time in museums and galleries…..
All around the world artists are grappling with our addiction to speed – hardly surprising given the intimate link between slowness and the act of creation. I know of at least oneSlow Art Manifesto. And every week seems to bring the launch of another exhibition exploring the tension between fast and slow. A few days ago it was the turn ofNo Time To Losein Aberdeen, Scotland. But today I want to draw your attention to a charmingly eccentric slow art project at Bournemouth University in the UK. It’s called Real Snail Mail and its aim is to make us rethink our impatient relationship with time and technology. It works like this: Three genuine snails have been placed in a tank and fitted with devices that send emails on behalf of visitors to awebsite. When a snail slithers past one of the transmitting nodes in the tank, it collects a message that has been downloaded from the site. It then slithers away at a very unhurried 0.03mph (0.05km/h) . When the snail passes within range of another node, the email is dispatched to the recipient. The whole process can take hours, days, weeks, or even longer. One snail, Austin, has emerged as the fastest delivery boy of the three: he has sent 10 messages with an average delivery time of 1.96 days. But his pal, Muriel, has so far failed to dispatch a single email. Anyway, I’m wondering if I can file my tax return this way.