Tatsuo MiyajimaJapanese (Tokyo, Japan, 1957)
This room-size installation was created expressly for SFMOMA's galleries. Miyajima placed 224 LEDs (light-emitting diodes) in a straight line. Silent, glowing red, and continually increasing, the LEDs transcend their traditional function as indicators of information to become a pictorial representation of the existence of time and the intellectual puzzle it presents.
By positioning the line to suggest a horizon, Miyajima identifies San Francisco as a place so far west that the horizon might be seen as the demarcation point between the West and the East. The straight line is a form commonly used to imply continuum, finality, or infinity. Counter Line suggests the "linear" concept of time in the West while simultaneously invoking the Eastern apprehension of time as a fluid, nonobjective experience related to space. The work also proposes time as a substance that accumulates even as it disappears.