in collaboration with Toby Lee
Conflux Festival, New York, USA, 2006


In the hurried pace of everyday urban life, what would happen if we just stood still? On busy streets and crowded sidewalks, we took a little time (and space) to find out.

Pause was a series of public experiments that took place as part of the Conflux festival in New York in the fall of 2006. On each day of the festival, a group of about 20 participants gathered in public space to pause together. Coordinated by sms, participants individually made their way to a predetermined location, froze simultaneously for five minutes, and then simultaneously unfroze and went on with the rest of the day, resuming life as usual. There was one frozen moment for each day of the festival, and each took place in a different, well-trafficked location in public space.

As an experiment in slowing down, Pause sought to expand a moment, transforming a moment in time into a three-dimensional space in which passersby were free to roam, explore, and interact. Pause asked how our understanding of time might change if, instead of being swept up in the pace of urban life, we were simply to hold a moment.