artificial medicine

9:40 am Jan 9 (2:30 am Jan 11) double exposure, actual time vs imagined time


        3:2 was an experiment in time travel. On Jan 01 2008 at 12:00 am central, I sealed myself in a room with a slow clock, artificial day and night, and delayed internet. I remained in this artificial time warp until January 19th your time, or January 13th my time. I am now living forever in the future.

Messages from the Past time traveler's notes


Artificial Sun and Delayed Outside feed



Hexaclock by Geraldine Juarez , counting 2 minutes for every 3.
Internet Delay Pedal by Jamie Wilkinson, giving time travelers the internet from the past
Emergency Butter Glasses



temporal deprivation helmet and chamber



chalkboard lectures



last bit of sunlight as room is sealed off





the last minute

the eccentricities of the time machine are piling up, reproducing, threatening to collapse out of control. My cloud of computers is ready to delay the world, although everything in here remains under the full influence of gravity. There is duct tape over the oven clock. The produce filling my refrigerator has an internal timer that we can't reprogram. I've said a few hasty good byes, and I am hurrying up to wait. I can see the New Year creeping around the globe, ready to descend on me- we are all reminded that we are traveling through time.
I am perpetually falling behind time. Now I will do it on purpose. By sealing myself off in a room with a slow clock, fake sunlight and delayed news media for 19 days, I will drop the lever, fling open the hatch, and free-fall away from the present at 223,200,000 miles per hour. In the end, all I have to do is open the door, and I'll be right back in the fiction of the present- a Marty McFly from a week in the past. In every significant way, it is a REAL LIVE WORKING TIME MACHINE.

11:56 pm Dec 31, 2007


miraculously, Adam, Laura and I made it back just before midnight. It's hard to tell how drunk you are when you are wearing a helmet that obscures all senses. My first day has been a little rough, although I must say, a 36 hour day might be perfectly adjusted for a big hangover. Somehow, it also seems appropriate to puke onto the white floor of an all white room. My breakfast of sausage, pancakes, and eggs was strangely yellow, but reviving. I've got to wake up my time traveling sea creatures, send some emails to future, and pick my first book. No boredom yet.

1:15 pm January 1st, hexaclock time

Now I can feel a strange effect beginning. This room is not just surrounded by the present, it is surrounded by the past and future- ALL THINGS happen outside of this room. I'm starting to look at the ceiling more, the rafters are becoming a structural part of my memory of this place. When a bump or thud comes in over my white noise, it is not just the present breaking the rules of my game, but almost a echo from the future. For the record, I am not taking drugs in here. I only brought whisky and I haven't had any interest in it yet. I can't believe it's still only the second day. I wonder if I am keeping track right.

Landmarks in Space

I think this time machine is a difference engine.The problem with our world is not a lack of energy- it's a lack of difference. We live in a lukewarm present. If we had a really cold spot we could run all our engines off the heat in the air. My white room is a cold spot in time, to generate some meaning between the difference. Frost is forming on my DeLorean. I can't tell if my naps are aligning with regular days or not- maybe some clock inside of me is tracing the sun overhead in this skinny slice of time zone, staying glued to the surface of the Earth. By my account, I should be experiencing the Earth as someone just passing Pluto, 4 billion miles away, halfway to the farthest space probe.
midnight day one
The hexaclock just turned over midnight on my first day in. I made some stuffed bell peppers for dinner, and they made me want to research the spice wars. This schedule is going to take some serious adjustment. I guess I'll read some more of Steve Erickson's Zeroville and go to sleep. If my calculation is correct, I am no longer matching any timezone- I have officially left the Earth. This is a little scarier than I thought it would be.

I have now joined the economy of boredom.

I am a receptionist at a company with no phone and I can't go home at night. The question is, am I "showing up to work" or taking a vacation to nowhere? The webcam is one more step in the pornography of boredom, there isn't even multiple characters or plot to diffuse the image of a human in the act of waiting. Staring at a clock is like staring at the sun, fortunately my clock is dimmer, more mysterious. Every once in while I fantasize about opening the door and running out, but what I am I going to do after that? Go to the gas station? I'm definitely going to run out of books. I made some peanut butter cookies.


All communication is a form of time travel. All messages come from the past, and are received in the future. Some real part of you goes forward when you send a message and you receive some real part of someone else when you hear a message. Surprisingly, I am adjusting to the elongated day. I slept through the night 11 pm to 7 am, and have been awake, unable to nap, since then. It is 5 pm and I’ll probably go to bed sometime around 8 or 9. I haven’t quite thought of anything interesting to do, but I feel a responsibility to be in front of the camera. I am now experiencing the Earth as if I was the furthest away human artifact, having passed Voyager 1 and the termination shock last night, soaring closer to truly empty space.

Written from within the time machine at 5:21 pm Jan 3rd

reversed retirement

I woke up in the middle of the night. I could see a bit of sun peering through a small crack in the wall that I missed, but when I cane back from the bathroom, the light was gone. Maybe time really is detaching from me. I'm a little depressed, I can't get behind my ideas today. I'm beginning to anticipate the sensation of "Where did all that time go?" when I get out. But maybe it will be like waking up from a dream- by short circuiting this old man's feeling, I'll realize that the time hasn't all gone anywhere; it's just one dumb lost week, and I'll still young. Unless this process is working too well- and I emerge either old or to an old world. In a way, this project is like being in a nursing home, retiring before rather than after my life. It' kind of nice to get that out of the way.

2:05 am in the time machine, Jan 4th



My time-traveling Triops (glorified sea monkeys) have hatched! The are tiny and seem to swim in stop motion. It’s good to have something else alive in here, because it doesn’t look like my plant is going to make it. Today I feel like I could conquer the world. All this good food and a little exercise. Fantasies of escape have revived my spirits. They are an integral part of my psyche, it seems. My captor, in this rare circumstance, is grace; my allegiance is to the aesthetic logic of this project. My mind is reanimated in deciphering an elegant way out, a way to circumvent this plotless erosion of my life, this empty broadcast of a zerolife . Maybe I’m just an escapist, and that’s all this sealed room is. But where do you land if you escape from escapism?

19:51 Jan 4th inside the time machine

other time machines

Now I’m a thirty-six hour human. Today I watched Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. I’ve saved this dubious honor until now. While a film review of Bill and Ted’s may not be the most relevant thing I could do, I am, after all, stuck in the past. Apart from having the production value of an after-school special, I think there is something worthwhile lodged between Napoleon cheating at bowling and Socrates trying to pick up chicks in big sweaters at the food court. The basic plot is that Bill and Ted receive a time machine to kidnap historical figures for an oral presentation in high school history. The ability to cast the figures of history rather than study them creates a ridiculous complicity of history to the stadium-rock spectacle of the present. While minor hijinks ensue, particularly with that rascal Genghis Khan- the past, present and future all play along, requiring essentially no translation. Beethoven jams to Iron Maiden (obviously) the English princesses make flawless prom dates, and all historical figures happily assume animatronic roles in an oral presentation complete with a light show. The presentation is effortless, the entire span of human history is a theme park, and it couldn’t suck harder. Plot in almost all time-travel movies lands in a cul de sac of boredom and paradox. Bill and Ted even get to enjoy the success of their band Wyld Styllions before learning to play the guitar, being admired from the future and knowing it. But in the end of the film, we are back in Ted’s garage, and they are making the same music video they were in the beginning of the film. Ted interrupts it, amazed at how they could have had such adventures and see no change in their lives. I think we are all with Keanu on this one- he is more messianic as Ted than as the Buddha or “the one” or whatever. Since we have dissembled history, what next? What epoch follows the understanding that no epochs really exist? The prophet Ted sums up the eery stillness of our era well. “Bill, strange things are afoot at the circle K.”


Good morning world. I’ve leaped and tumbled into Sunday the 6th of January, rising at the positively geriatric time of 4:45 am. Today I actually feel like a time traveler, as I approach the halfway point in my journey to the future, my machine feels like it’s coasting, we’ve made it through the acceleration. My mind has stopped creaking like expanding metal under heat. Today has been so long, so incredibly long. I am experiencing a relief from the feeling that time is passing too quickly, for one of the first times since being a kid. It is quite beautiful.

the perfect record collapses under it's own wieght

The last few days of webcam images just evaporated into the ether, one of my computer drives failed under the exponential weight of perfect surveillance. Perfect surveillance, apart from being super boring, is not really possible. A culture of people entirely devoted to the reciprocal monitoring of their peers, a nation of ever vigilant security guards. But as soon as somebody gets up to pee, somebody else is for that instant free to plot their escape. While that person plots another person has a window, until one tight-ass with a full bladder is trying to watch everybody on a stadium of TVs the size of the planet. This last guard’s computer drives are brimming over with the whole past, tape after tape that he’ll get to next week or next month, until the tapes weigh more than the present does, every atom of the present devoted to the record of the past. Jill Magid says that security cameras are just modern gargoyles. My webcam is equally benign, an inside-out fishbowl. By imagining that someone from the future could be watching me, I watch myself. But neither of us is policing me. I think we are both just waiting for something to happen.

the event horizon

I’m approaching the event horizon of my project, the point at which no news from the present will reach me until I get out, on January 13th at 1:20 pm my time. Somehow, without moving left right up down forward or backwards, I have found myself alone among the people of the future. My mind is quickening a little bit in here- I’ve turned to crackpot theories of time and space and endothermic engines to keep me company. My attention to sound and detail is becoming sharper too- I can hear plastic bags slowly unfurling across the room, I know the sound of all the computer fans and I can tell when one isn’t on, I get a little joy whenever the refrigerator or heat kick on. I can hear the coffee maker when I’ve left the burner on. I watched some apple turnovers for almost the entire time they baked. Suddenly the slow rise of the dough, the sizzling of the butter, and the gradual development of golden brown across the tops was enough detail to hold my attention. Sorry if it doesn’t hold yours in a blog entry, I suppose this is quite navel gazing.

a regular pair of pants

Time is not actually passing, anymore than space is passing. The vastness of space doesn’t negate the existence of tiny people on a tiny planet, and the vastness of time is no different. Death is a concept invented by culture, an abstraction that, by its nature, no one actually experiences. Things I miss in here, with a pleasant, aching clarity: the smell of dirt, a breeze. A girl’s hair when she rests her head between my chest and shoulder, a regular pair of pants, drinking and listening to music in a friend’s kitchen. Someone yelling “whore” in mock frustration. Driving a moped over a city bridge, standing outside a restaurant after a meal, sitting by a lake, feeling the sun as the seasons start to change, leaning down in a car at night so that you can only see streetlights gliding by. Putting on a ton of high tech clothes to go wade through knee-deep snow, swimming underwater, getting off work, drinking coffee in a shitty diner, people talking. But maybe I usually miss these things. Other people whose lives most be a bit like this all the time: prisoners, soldiers on a submarine, night shift security guards, My desire to be a famous weirdo is diminished somewhat, losing leverage to the desire just to be present. The vacuum I’ve created in here is a lens to see my life, an upside-down glass bottom boat in time. I am floating below all moments because all moments are the present. I am drifting underwater in silence, looking up, waiting to surface.

the past is crumbling

This is one of my last posts from the deep past. I’m feeling ready for my leap across the void- to become a citizen of the not-very-distant future. For anyone in the Omaha area, in the area of Saturday January 19th, I will arrive instaneously from the past at about 8:00 pm in The Bemis Underground. Please come and tell me about all the miraculous things that have happened in this grand cultural narrative during the time I’ve skipped. I miss you, future present.

Steeling myself for the leap

Strangely, as I look at it, I will have made as many posts as days are supposed to have past on the outside. Maybe my literary mind cannot be deceived by the altered flow of time. i am reduced to the act of waiting, now, the comfortable modern person's default and most unfortunate state. I cleaned up in here, I'm worried that it smells weird. I can feel the tension in the bow of time stretched to furthest point, just before release. I'm steeling my mind for the leap into the future, while it should be physically painless, I have not idea what awaits me. I guess I get this feeling anytime I travel long distance- but I always land in an inhabitable place, where my previous worries seem silly. I've added some pictures from the chamber in operation, pictures from the past, if you will. Thanks for keeping me company from the future, I can feel that you are there. I can feel that I am not alone.

Jamie O'Shea

written from within the time machine at 11:28 am, January 13th 2008


I’ve been back in the world for a while now. My leap forward was not instantaneous as planned; a plane of glass has separated me from the world and is still dissolving. For about a week, I never felt tiredness; I slept because I thought I should, usually sometime after dawn. The feeling now is like this: my head is poking through time into the present, but my body stretches across my whole life. My time machine is underneath me somewhere- I can almost wave to a past version of myself. I am permanently a time traveler- time now seems like a set of coordinates, a map. Looking at a clock is locating my position, and my velocity seems steerable. Still, since I have returned to your present, I have been plagued by the feeling that something truly momentous is due to happen, and it is not in sight. Does everybody in the future feel like this? How do we feel elation and not dread from deja-vu? We are all time travelers, and nobody is moving at exactly the same speed. I’ll keep searching for the moment where everyone is present, and until then, I settle for messages. End transmission.

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