The Center for Short-Lived Phenomena is a temporary para-institution, located inside and alongside CCS Bard. As a test-site, it engages with time in a way that could fall behind, outrun, or collide with its host institution.
Institutions are shaped by, and in turn propose, particular notions of time. This first and final exhibition at the Center for Short-Lived Phenomena presents new commissions by Swintak and Danna Vajda, as well as selections from Nina Katchadourian’s ongoing series Seat Assignment.
The Center was named after the original Center for Short-Lived Phenomena (1968-1974), a branch of the Smithsonian that addressed a broad range of events, such as volcanic eruptions, meteorite impacts, and floating islands. These unusual scientific concerns were spontaneous and of limited duration, which made it necessary for the smaller institution to operate according to different temporal models from its host institution. The center emphasized that the study of short-term transient occurrences had the potential to shift accepted knowledge of stable long-term processes.