Charlotte Parallel: Deep time

Charlotte Parallel’s practice operates within a geophysical
framework, engaged directly with physical properties and processes of
the Earth. This has seen her explore areas such as sound waves,
transduction, conduction, seismic vibrations, field-recording methods,
and the relationship our bodies have to these processes. Parallel’s
research phase is fundamental to the way in which her practice operates,
revealing the potential of specific sites where she will record data,
both above and below ground. This data, which is often inaudible in its
raw state, is then translated into sound works. These works make
visible/audible elements that are often overlooked, ignored or
inaccessible in their original state, but constantly moving through and
around our environment.

This exhibition explores the concept of deep time, or geologic time,
in various locations across Ōtepoti Dunedin. Deep time, a concept
developed in the late 18th century (but not coined until the 20th
century), speaks to the way that key events and successive changes to
the earth are measured over an expanded timescale, within the mineral
make-up of the earth itself. This area of geological study provides a
framework for engaging directly with the past, measuring cycles of
sedimentation and erosion that have come to shape the land.

Parallel worked in collaboration with a seismologist, using sensors
and computers to listen to and record the earth in sites across the
city. Each site speaks to various stages of movement and distribution of
earth including Te Wai o Tinirau / Makereatu / Blackhead Quarry, Walton
Park Sand, Logan Point Quarry and in the base of various storm drains.
In Deep time Parallel uses sound, accessed by the viewer
through telephones, to analyse distinctive formational changes that have
taken place within these sites – reminding us that the land is not
static but ever-changing, responding and adapting to both organic and
forced movement.


Deep time was conceived as an interactive installation, for
one or many listeners. This edit by the artist was made for the
international radia network, recomposing the work’s sites and sonic
materialities as a piece specifically for the radiophonic context.


Charlotte Parallel is a New Zealand artist based in Koputai Port
Chalmers working in the fields of sculpture, sound, performance and
collaboration. She has been exhibiting within New Zealand consistently
over the last 16 years and internationally since 2010.

Deep time was commissioned by Dunedin Public Art Gallery, for the exhibition FOUR: Kim Pieters. Charlotte Parallel. Megan Brady. Aroha Novak, 25th Aug 2018 – 18th Nov 2018

images: Iain Frengley

text: Lauren Gutsell