images by Dan Miller

Kills time
installation with the works of Thomas Kong and recorded sounds
The Back Room at Kim's Corner Food
Chicago, IL

I have a little time, you know, time to kill, time to kill.
—Thomas Kong in an interview with Dan Miller, 2015

“Throughout the month of July, I’ve had some time to kill, which is also to say that I’m waiting to leave, waiting to be elsewhere, and killing time with Thomas Kong. Suspended in time, I sort through Kong’s work, finding moments where he’s done the same: layers of one-inch pieces of tape keep leaves from changing color, holding their shape, and preventing future damage. Removed from natural processes of decomposition, and placed out of time, Kong saves fragments of his world for the tests of time, from being elsewhere, and staying here. Here, in this uncertain time, Kong saves moments for us that would otherwise be forgotten, moments that need to be here later.

For me, the archivist with finite time (as any archivist might say), I can only intervene at this point in time, intervene on what Kong’s work says about time, on what his work can do for time, even in the limited time I have left here before I’m elsewhere.

Here, I am tasked to kill time.

With him, I wonder how to preserve moments like his, moments before I leave, moments for later. How do I begin to keep moments in a time of uncertainty?

In this time with Kong, I wonder how to begin preserving a different future, how to collect what is needed, how to keep what is there later for here now. I want to kill time to restore the pace of accelerative terror. I want to slow down. Breathe. Tend to our wounds and prevent time from taking its toll. And so in the interest of time, which is to say here, in this time, I am reaching for the future.

But for now, we must kill time together.”