Digital video as an expressive art medium has informed both narrative and installation based video for some time. However, one specific area of video art production that has been overlooked as an expressive procedure is time-lapse. This project builds a portrayal, through time-lapse, that develops from a research pathway investigating light, focus and movement in landscape.
What drives the project is a desire to present work of a particular intensity based on a Heideggerian belief that non-representational truth can emerge despite the initial intention of the artist. In this light, I am informed by the work of Australian artist Janet Laurence and the concept of “slow space” portrayed in her site-specific works. By placing sculptured, layered glass structures into a landscape setting she facilitates, through variable reflection, the gradual dissolving of patterns in shifting light into structural form. Likewise, the minimal electronic pixel based screen work of American digital artist Jim Campbell aligns with the idea of time-lapse by changing the representation of moving street figures on a screen from a minimal blocky pixel base into a half screen area covered by Perspex, thus creating defined shadow forms through minimal representation.
An entwined encounter develops within the project as interplay between the artist, the video medium and framed areas of glass and plastic, called screens – objects that recreate light. The mood and duration for light and movement occurring within the screen surfaces is essentially changed through capture by video technology, and time-lapse as a video camera based facility alters again the parameters for video to express movements in the play of light. Visual relationships both tonal and involving the physicality of objects are initially explored. Within the screen environments it is noticed that various textural properties are either acquired or infused into the surface area of the screens. These surfaces display the earthy tones and hues that are inherent in dust and other organisms. Other surfaces explored have been scratched by human touch or molded in their process of manufacture to prevent a clear view. These and other distinctive surfaces become a physically textured world for the interplay of light. By being animated, it is the surface interplay that brings a human attachment, fostering a sense of meaning in shadow form.
Digital processing within the video camera indexes light as imagery, tonally redefining a lived experience, and time-lapse in replay can lead an audience into visual encounters that are otherwise unavailable to human view. At a crucial stage in the project, the use of time-lapse begins to significantly capture an essence of the play of light. As a result, what is normally perceived as fast animated activity, conventionally used as video form for the implementation of a quick segue, comes to represent a perception that light and time pass by slowly. The viewing experience engages a contemplative disposition accompanying long scenes of richly endowed but essentially fast moving interpretations of the activities of light. As the encounter develops between the artist, lighting conditions, and video based creations, the project becomes a chapter in an ongoing account of time spent translating the essence of lit surfaces often hidden, occasional, and unseen, into a new and virtual experience in an exhibition space.
Authorised by the Head of School, Tasmanian College of the Arts
24 October, 2012