Erika Wanenmacher’s project, What Time Travel feels like, sometimes, depicts a personal and human narrative about time travel.
Erika Wanenmacher has lived and worked in Santa Fe for over forty years. Her work has been shown and collected internationally. She also owns a witch store.
“This work is part of a larger project entitled What Time Travel feels like, sometimes that includes painting, sculpture, video, performance, and installation. These paintings are my personal narratives about time travel. As a life-long lover of science fiction, a practicing witch, and an avid reader of edge science and psychology, concepts like time travel, morphic resonance, and cell memory are part of my lexicon.
Many concepts in science fiction have later been proven to be true, much as modern quantum physics has validated aspects of ancient magic, like particles being in two places at once or moving faster than light. ”Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” wrote Arthur C. Clarke. His book Childhood’s End describes a shock so grave—one that precedes the end of humankind—that it travels backward in time through human consciousness. Samuel R. Delany in Dhalgren tells a story of a city and inhabitants that exist just outside of “normal” space/time. The incident that shifted reality is never revealed, just accepted. In The Lathe of Heaven, Ursula K. Le Guin writes of a man whose dreams alter waking “reality.” William Gibson coined the word “cyberspace” in his book Neuromancer, which predated the web by about ten years. His book The Peripheral tells of a future where one can project their consciousness into a mechanical body for, say, a meeting in another part of the world or at another time.
When I think about time travel, I’m thinking not only about Star Trek-like incorporation/discorporation, but also human consciousness and time. “Nostalgia,” for instance, is a word from early medical psychology (like “hysteria”). It means a longing for a home that never was. Right now, our culture is steeped in nostalgia, with people longing for a time and a way of life that never was. It’s a form of time shift—when you are daydreaming of another time, are you in the room? Altered states—when someone is in the middle of a PTSD incident, try telling them it’s not real. Mnemonics—memory triggers, how fast do they take you back? The speed of light? Faster?
My work has always been narrative. Humans are storytellers. It is what binds us together, across time.”
Born in the mid-fifties in suburban Ohio, Wanenmacher attended Kansas City Art Institute and the Feminist Studio Workshop in Los Angeles.
Santa Fe, NM | erikawanenmacher.com | ig: @ewanenmacher