Is the concept of time really like a stream flowing from past through present into future?

Despite being more than a century apart, Hyperplanes of Simultaneity has its roots firmly planted in the Italian Futurism of Filippo Tommasi Marinetti.
In his 1908 Futurist Manifesto he stated that ‘time and space died yesterday’.
This is a slogan born out of a theory by mathematicians of the late 19th century, who speculated that the three spatial dimensions and the concept of time are in fact merged into a fourth dimension.

Most people would be familiar with this idea because it was made popular by H. G. Wells in ‘The Time Machine’, 1895.

The world is thought not to be a three-dimensional space affected by the passage of time, but a “block universe” in which there is no flow of time and future events are already present.

Hyperplanes of Simultaneity, Fabio Giampietro

This concept of space-time as an unchanging four dimensional “block” is the inspiration for this small exhibition by Fabio Giampietro, with the help of digital artist Alessio De Vecchi, at the Palazzo Reale in Milan.
The three pieces painted by the artist find an extra dimension with the use of 3D technology, thus overcoming the limitations and physical boundaries of more traditional works.
Whilst we have come to expect one point of view and one focal point in any image in front of us, the use of 3D glasses gives the illusion of being able to step inside these urban landscapes, subverting the conventional approach to visual art.
The concepts of continuity and simultaneity are challenged once an endless number of perspectives are created by the visitors moving around. In physics the relativity of simultaneity is the concept that distant simultaneity – whether two spatially separated events occur at the same time – is not absolute, but depends on the observer’s reference frame.

The visit was not planned, but I found myself intrigued by such perplexing, obscure title and I had to know what it was about. Although the premises and background of this exhibition might please the purists of the art world, the novelty of this kind of interaction is definitely bound to attract a wider and possibly younger audience, who might take it at face value, rather than being interested in this daring artistic expression of Eternalism.

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