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title. A Surfer's Time

date. 2019

city. Omaha, NE

medium. Canvas, Misc. Materials


In June 2019 Robin Donaldson participated in a residency at Maple St. Construct in Omaha Nebraska.

From Maple St. Construct:
“I think there is a question of time involved here.  If we take time in ordinary experience we have the present, the past and the future.  Now the past is gone; it no longer exists except in memory. The future is just expected.  Now if you draw a line and put the present as the dividing point between past and future, it divides what doesn’t exist from what doesn’t exist.  And that also doesn’t exist… This linear view of time is an abstraction. It’s like a map. You can use this map to guide you, but the map is not the same as the territory.  The map may correspond to some features of the territory, but it is never complete, and also it may be distorted.”
– David Bohm, Unfolding Meaning

Maple St. Construct website

For most, time is quite repetitive, we get up have a coffee, go to work, have lunch, go back to work, clock out, go home, check in with the family, have dinner, and go to sleep.  For some, weekends might break the monotony with leisurely travels and dinners with friends only to repeat the previous week on Monday.  Some are lucky enough to have prolonged vacations giving the repetitive cycle a bit of discomfort.  For a few, time is quite valuable, moving at a fast pace with constant obligations and limited moments of slow reflection.  For others, time can be bitterly slow, a constant waiting period for some slight change or difference in a routine.


Most become quite content with either, falling into the controlling wave that time sets.  However, for a few, the individual can briefly control time.  This becomes about intention, where a person set on a wave of time unexpectedly decides to get off.  Why is this important?  It is important because our work can only be truly judged by playing with the pace of time; otherwise, we get judged by time.  There is a saying that only time will tell…for a few, it should say only time will tell except for the moments they tell time.


Robin Donaldson is an architect and artist who lives a life of precious and expensive time, a repetitive swell of waves of time.  For Robin, time is not slowing down and not necessarily extending itself.  For Robin, Maple St. Construct becomes a moment of controlling time, a wave of time at his pace and of his intention.  For Robin, the seven days of time he spends in Omaha might be seventy days of time for someone else.  However, that doesn’t matter; what matters is he’s giving himself the time.  He’s giving himself the time as only Maple St. Construct presents time…a timeless wave of slow reflection and of course, making stuff.

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