Artist Jonathan Sims.

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Thirty-Six Stars (2018)

LED lamps, lasercut acrylic, glass lenses, metal, wood, fabric scrim.
30x30x16 feet
Lehman College, Bronx, NY

Thirty-Six Stars was a site-specific installation at the Lehman College Art Gallery during a group exhibition titled Tick Tock, which ran from February to May, 2018.

Humanity has been grappling with understanding and marking the passage of time for thousands of years – and even that unit of time itself, the year, has often eluded precise enumeration. Thirty-Six Stars is a rumination on the perpetual human exercise to precisely define the length of a year, and its frustrating refusal to align with the perfect geometry we expect of the universe.

The title is a reference to a very early series of astronomical texts from Babylonia known as The Three Stars Each, which idealized the year into twelve months of thirty days, with four months assigned to three separate gods, and three stars assigned to each month. The symmetry and elegance of a 360 day calendar is a testament to the human compulsion for precision and order in defiance of evidence, and this installation is an homage to all who would gaze up at the stars and attempt to divine their significance.