This Present Moment (Mt. Washington, Nevada, at Sunset); photograph by Wesley Kirk of Vision & Verve

Alicia Eggert's This Present Moment

Immerse yourself in a space where the passage of time is brought into focus, illuminated brilliantly with the words of Stewart Brand.

Visit This Present Moment, interdisciplinary artist Alicia Eggert's neon sign on exhibition in San Francisco in partnership with Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture.

The exhibition is open daily from 7am - 11pm at Fort Mason Center in Building B, from November 02022 until February 02023.

While at Fort Mason Center, you can see other art at Haines Gallery, SF Camerawork, Museo Italo Americano, Christo Oropezo's Murals and stop by The Interval for coffee or cocktails.

Alicia Eggert's work gives material form to language and time, powerful but invisible forces that shape our perception of reality. Her creative practice is motivated by an existential pursuit to understand the linear and finite nature of human life within a seemingly infinite universe. Her inspiration is drawn from physics and philosophy, and her sculptures often co-opt the styles and structures of commercial signage to communicate messages that inspire reflection and wonder. Long Now's Ahmed Kabil writes that Eggert's work makes contemplating empathy on grand temporal scales "feel as intuitive as looking at a clock to check the time."

Alicia Eggert and assistant Jess Green working on This Present Moment at Long Now's property at Mount Washington, Nevada. Photograph by Danielle Engelman

The sign will be on public exhibit in Building B at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco from November 02022 through February 02023. In conjunction with the exhibition, Alicia Eggert's Long Now Talk is viewable on our YouTube channel. The exhibition features large lenticular prints of Eggert’s work, a behind the scenes video of the sign's journey up to the bristlecones on Long Now’s property in Nevada, and the sign itself, sculpted steel and neon illuminating a quote from Stewart Brand’s book The Clock of the Long Now:


Eggert’s work uses neon, steel, and time to expand the scope and possibilities of the carefully chosen quotes she uses in her work. In This Present Moment, Brand’s quote moves from its original form to Eggert’s subtly edited version:


And then blinks into nothingness before returning once more to the start of the cycle, bringing a deeper awareness of time and place to the viewer through the simple flickering of the neon sign.

Placed briefly amongst ancient bristlecone pines in the mountains of eastern Nevada, this image of the sign serves as a provocation towards long-term thinking. In the words of Long Now Research Fellow Jonathon Keats, the juxtaposition of ancient landscape and neon sign "establishes a literal relationship between the present moment and the long term, and physically models the essential simultaneity of multiple time scales."

This Present Moment has previously been exhibited in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, where it lends its title (and Stewart’s words) to This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World, an exhibition running from May 13, 02022 to April 2, 02023.

Stewart Brand with This Present Moment at Fort Mason Center. GIF by Justin Oliphant

Eggert's artworks have been installed on building rooftops in Russia, on bridges in Amsterdam, and on uninhabited islands in Maine, beckoning us to ponder our place in the world and the role we play in it. Eggert is an Associate Professor of Studio Art and the Sculpture Program Coordinator at the University of North Texas.

Long Now’s exhibition of This Present Moment will run through February 02023. We hope that you can visit Fort Mason Center and contemplate the Big Here and the Long Now through Alicia Eggert’s work.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

More from Art

What is the long now?

The Long Now Foundation is a nonprofit established in 01996 to foster long-term thinking. Our work encourages imagination at the timescale of civilization — the next and last 10,000 years — a timespan we call the long now.

Learn more

Join our newsletter for the latest in long-term thinking

Long Now's website is changing...