In 2010 took place a huge 8.8 earthquake in Chile. Back in those days, I read that this earthquake changed the axis of the Earth, therefore, time was modified in a fragment of a second.

"The days will be shorter"— it said.

The physical phenomenon of the Earth shacking changed time —or at least time in the way we measure and grab it in our clocks—.

I was impressed. Time is usually indescribable, as Saint Augustine would say. We experience its immateriality. Time just happens, like floating in the air, making us old without notice. But there is also the fact that time seems to run without any influence... in an autonomous and automatic mode. Unattainable, ephemeral, eternal and untouchable. Today —after Einstein's Relativity Theory— we know that time is in relation to space, being affected by gravitational forces, for example. But this understanding is not obvious to our human senses and the experience at our human scale. That's why the idea of the earthquake changing time was so powerful. Time relativity was not just at the scale of the universe, but now I looked possible to imagine living a time-pause, or maybe a time-disruption, time-mutations, time-malleability.

Of course, time didn't change. The Earth changed so the measurements of how we understand time in relation to Earth movement. Time didn't change. The rotation of the Earth got shorter. But, for a second, it was beautiful to think about time in a different way.

2th March 2010 / Earthquake in Chile changed the Earth's axis

"As a consequence of the earthquake, the days will be shorter".

I'm so attached to clocks and its scientific formula. It's hard for me to think about time in subjective terms, which might actually be the most sincere experience that everyone has in terms of time. Clocks are just a mediator. An outsider and imposed measurement.


When I moved into London, I used to feel that it was trembling all the time. Basically because that's the way you live in a land that shakes: you are continuously in a sub-conscious alert-mode. You know that the Earth shakes. You know that a bigger shake could happen any moment. You know that a bigger one might follow a softer one starts. So, if you feel any movement, you need to pay attention. You need to pause to feel, to connect and go to a save spot if it's necessary. I'm don't know if it is normal, but back in Chile you love as it is trembling all the time. Most of the cases might be your imagination. But other cases might actually be minor, imperceptible tremors. At least for me, it was like feeling a constant immanence. A constant instability.

I didn't know if there where Earthquakes in London when I first moved in. I never googled it. I just carried the Earth movement alert with me. The first weeks I tried to pay attention to feel the tremors, but after a year I just got used to the idea that the land here is fixed. It doesn't move. Which is very weird.

Tremors and earthquakes are one of the manifestations of the complexity of the "liveness" of nature. It remind us that there are forces that run parallel to our daily lives, but that they can affect us. It reminds us that we are not in a bubble of civilization. Civilization is not control and it's not a solution. We are part of a whole and we are vulnerable. To survive is not to control but to connect with your environments.

Moon Ribas / cyborg tremor artist

Moon Ribas is a Spanish cyborg dancer that has implants in her feet. This implants emit a shaking signal every time they sense an Earthquake around the Earth. She makes her dancing compositions in relation you this. Her next project is coping this sensing in relation to the moon.

"The wearable works by communicating over a cellular connection with a cloud-based server, which regularly parses a public US Geological Survey data source for new quake data. When seismic activity is detected, the intensity, distance and duration are represented by small vibrations felt by the wearer. This interaction is based on an existing implant Moon has in her arm, which responds simply to the intensity of earthquakes."

Sismo detector APP

Recently, I found a free app that alerts me when there is an Earthquake around the Earth. It's not that accurate as Ribas's might be because it works based on people's data. If you sense a tremor, you create an alert in the app. There might be a gap with places in which there is no internet or where this app is not known. Nevertheless, I get alerts almost everyday, or at least every week. The alerts are draw in a map, so you can visually follow the location of this constant activity.

The app also twitters the alerts.

Some common places where earthquakes happens:

- Pacific América (Chile, Perú, Colombia, Mexico, USA, Ecuador).

- Caribbean Sea (Cuba, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, República Dominicana, Panamá, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala)

- Pacific Asia (China, Indonesia, Japan, India)

- Mediterran (Italy, Spain, Greece, Croatia)

- Middle East (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Yemen, Syria)

- Oceania (New Zealand, Papa New Guinea, Solomon Islands)

- North Africa (Morocco, Algeria)

- Iceland

May 18th 2017 - Changes in the duration of the day and other 4 facts that you might not know about earthquakes - BBC

"At this very moment that you are reading this note, somewhere in the world, the earth is shaking.

And it is that, on average, there are about a million earthquakes a year on the planet.

The vast majority are so small that they go unnoticed.

However, based on observations since 1990, there are 17 earthquakes each year that are greater than 7 on the Richter scale, and a large one above 8, according to the United States Geological Survey."

One of the facts mentioned in this article is that some animals —as toads— might detect minor tremors, for example, by detecting electrical signals that come from tectonic activity.


United States Geological Survey is a scientific organization of the United States government that, among others, studies tectonic activity. The following website from the USGS monitors earthquakes including very low ones. I could work with this data.