Landline / Waterline 

Wood, Glass, Soil, Mud, Clay, Stone, Twigs, Leaves, Water, Cork, Tags. 2014-Ongoing.

Dimensions: 4 Shelves 74cm W x 10cm H x 4.5cm D each, 48 bottles 6cm each.

Landline/Waterline comprises a collection of bottled soil and water

specimens pertaining to a particular place in Malta, arranged in separate shelf

compartments. It is an archive of place in the shape of a sculptural installation that takes

viewers back and forth in time. The work references time and seasonal fluctuations in nature

through the accumulation of organic residue.


In total, the installation comprises forty-eight bottles. Half of them contain soil specimens

while the other half contains water specimens - each bottle is labeled accordingly. The

art work is intended to investigate the temporality of place; how time impinges on place. The

soil and water specimens gain the ability to communicate time when enclosed in glass

bottles and placed within compartments. Time appears to flow through the work. Identical

compartments resonate with the ticking of the clock; structured and equidistant. However,

Landline/Waterline is non-chronological. It disrupts time, cuts it into pieces, and re-

assembles it to form a non-linear narrative. As Deleuze and Guattari (1987) assert, the

present constitutes ‘time while passing in the time constituted’. Viewers may engage in a

reading of place at different points in time.


Diverse in their similarities these specimens tell us of the passing of time and this reminds us

of Lefebvre’s (1991) assertion that nature is an indicator of temporality. Landline/

Waterline reterritorialises place and time into a restricted space.

The work forms an imaginary line. The line is comprised of points in

time(s); however, as Merleau-Ponty (2012) argues, ‘[t]ime is not a line...’.

For every moment that arrives, the previous moment suffers a modification: I still hold it in

hand, it is still there, and yet it already sinks back, it descends beneath the line of presents.

(Merleau-Ponty, 2012)

The longevity of the project is determined by a full cycle spanning a whole year during which

the place underwent considerable environmental variations. Specimens were collected from

the same place at random intervals over a period of twelve months. The work connects past,

present and future through matter. It constitutes a temporal narrative that is set to continue to

accumulate time.

© Trevor Borg | | +00356 79403808