Ephemeral – What does it mean, origin and connotations

We explain what something ephemeral is, what connotations it has and what is the origin of the term. Also, what is ephemeral art.

In a short time, something ephemeral always disappears or turns into something else.

What is something ephemeral?

Something ephemeral is that which has a short duration, be it a sensation, a way of life, a phenomenon of reality or any other reference. The ephemeral is transitory, fleeting, impermanent, that is, if we wait long enough, something ephemeral will always disappear or transform into something else.

The words ephemeral or ephemeral come from Byzantine Greek ephemers (binding of epi, “Around”, and hemera, “Day”), a word that can be translated as “a single day” or “about a single day”, and which enters the Latin language through medical literature, as a way of calling temporary fevers , as the Greek physician Hippocrates (5th century BC) called them in ancient times.

The ephemeral has a certain negative connotation in our imagination, since we are prone to value things that last. It is common that the term is used to name the publications that lose value after being read or with the course of the day, such as newspapers, and other types of disposable or low-value materials. Too It is used for those things that are changeable, and therefore not very predictable and unreliable.

But at the same time, the ephemerality of things is what allows us to appreciate them better: the consciousness of death, philosophers explain, is what allows us to perceive and enjoy our existence, knowing that it will not be forever. At heart, we ourselves are ephemeral, and knowing this allows us not only to appreciate beauty, but also to plan for an important future in which we will not be in person, but others will.

Also: Existence

Ephemeral art

Ephemeral art
Ephemeral art can use short-lived materials, such as snow.

It is known as “ephemeral art” to certain artistic practices conceived to generate a momentary aesthetic effect, not lasting, and that once they occur, they disappear forever. This means that ephemeral art does not leave a lasting work, unless it is filmed or photographed, or its work loses validity or validity, and therefore is no longer considered as such.

Ephemeral art forms can be considered: performance, installation, happening, flash mob, graffiti, fashion, hairdressing, perfumery, gastronomy, pyrotechnics and body art (body art).