It all started when the first men looked at the sky and watched the stars in continuous motion, uniform and repetitive. The observations of the natural world made them understand that all events occur within a cycle: the migration of animals, flowering, seeding, maturation, harvest and so on.
Cyclic time in nomadic people and early tribes comes from a deep interaction between nature and man to the point of determining the idea of totality. No event in history that does not arise from other events that have preceded and which itself does not become a source of other events.
Civilizations have adopted various methods, using the movement of the stars, to measure time. The varying success of this operation is more or less depended on the astronomical knowledge each culture achieved. Religion, historians and even politicians have influenced also this major issue.
The ancient Babylonians and Greeks marked a transition in the conception of time. However, is until the arrival of Christianity when the ideas of linear time emerged, which would be fundamental to the foundations of the Western culture and its idea of progress.
The representation of time that we see in our clocks and calendars currently is a general convention in the world. Humanity has had to spend many stages for centuries to make big agreements about the date and time in which we live.
The conventional calendars measure time in a linear and progressive way. The model is highly deterministic linear thinking, as well reductionist since it breaks down the total into smaller pieces, reducing interactions between them. The whole is composed of independent parts.
The linear model is now contradictory, since we know that our universe is basically made up of nonlinear systems in the physical, biological, psychological and social levels.
Studying and reflecting about this subject I started to draw circular calendars as a way to understand time and search new ways to visualize it. In my head, since childhood, when I think about next summer or next winter, I always visualized the year in a circle, like a train in a loop track.
The circular calendar allows us to see that time is not unidirectional (from
past to future), but bidirectional. In indigenous cultures man lives in a reality of continuous cyclical movement of nature and culture. The end of the year is the beginning of a new life and not the sum of accumulated years. From this point of view everything is connected, nothing is separate from the totality.
The Spiral model is the model of thinking of indigenous people, is the alternative to linear thinking model designed by the European rationalism and positivist philosophy, origin of the existing mental model in the Western world for centuries.
This is the fourth edition of a circular calendar that I have designed. As the symbol of the Ouroboros (A snake eating it’s own tail) the circular calendars represents the cyclical nature of things, the eternal return and other items perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they conclude. In a broader sense symbolizes time and continuity of life. It offers the vision that things never go away, just change forever.
I have designed the last two calendars (2016 and 2017) as coloring calendars. They make a nice decorative item and also an illustration that people personalize coloring it day by day.
I drew the calendar illustration by hand, line after line, finding interesting to visualize a full year in one single image. An artistic piece and a functional object at the same time.
I have printed 150 calendars this year. If you want to purchase a print of the 2017 calendar and start to coloring it, you are welcome to visit my ETSY shop.
I will continue my research about time and calendars. If you share the interest on this subject and you want to exchange ideas please write me at: firstname.lastname@example.org