Posts Tagged ‘temporal’

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

“The ink wasn’t dry yet on their divorce papers before he was shacking up with you-know-who.”

In this sentence, there’s an idiom – “the ink wasn’t dry yet” – which does a nice job of creating a picture of a temporal event – a relatively short temporal event – by thinking of this event in terms of observable material phenomena – ink drying on paper.

One could say, “It didn’t take that many days after their divorce before he was shacking up with you-know-who,” but, in so doing, one loses the image of time as material; it lacks the bite of the previous sentence in which time is given the same oppressive materiality as an object in space.

Here’s another example:

“We’ve each said things we don’t really mean, so let’s let the dust settle and talk this over in the morning.”

Again, one could say here, “We’ve each said things we don’t really mean, so let’s wait a couple of hours and talk this over in the morning,” but, in so doing, one might lose something of the imagistic power which the idiom “let the dust settle” affords the sentence.

All of the sudden, that stretch of time becomes an object – an accumulation of dust following a confrontation – and, thus, becomes more dynamic than a reference to the passage of time through standardized time units – minutes, hours, etc. – which are decidedly more difficult to picture concretely.

The idioms in which time is pictured as an entity with its own materiality and its own objective weight on one’s experience are often powerful because they nudge one towards the intuition that time is as much a material as space (albeit a very different kind of material).

In Damon Zucconi’s Grey series, which consists of (as of right now, anyway) eight images created using a digital scanner and varying amounts of naturally-occurring dust and light leakage into the scanner, the artist invests himself in a similar experimentation with the material representation of time.

As viewed through his website, he presents, to begin with, a series of four images composed of dark shades of grey, accented by bursts of horizontal white bars, and pools of off-white specks that remind one of the scratches, hairs, and other noise of poorly preserved celluloid films.

In the fifth instance of the series, one views a similarly dark grey field which, likewise, contains traces of light leakage and dust and, then, an additional bright burst of orange/tan (almost fleshy) light which extends vertically in the upper right corner of the work.

In the following two instances of the series, a dark grey to black field is crossed by a series of rhythmically ordered straight horizontal lines of varying colors.

And, then, in the most recent instance of the series, one views another dark grey to black field upon whose entire right edge bursts a bright white streak of (almost cosmic) light whose own inner edge is a shade of bright green.

Now all that said, in each of these instances, one views the varied constellations of formal elements just mentioned – yes – but one also views something else – a unique picture of materialized time.

One views the changing amounts of dust and light recorded in each particular image which, in turn, are records of particular lengths of time.

Each formal variation here is due to an experimentation with time – whether it be the amount of time allotted to accumulate dust on the bed of the scanner or the amount of time allotted to accumulate light flares of varying degrees of strength.

Thus, as one reflects on a given formal element in the work, one is nudged towards reflecting on the time which each of these elements records.

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

The Continuous Line Drawings series by Damon Zucconi consists of (what is displayed to date, anyway) fifty-four short loops (at the most a couple of seconds per loop) – each of which consists of a single action – a jagged line being drawn.

These line drawings, though, are not representations of the artist’s hand painting in a studio or over a pane of glass (as in the films on Picasso and Pollock).

Rather, they are representations solely of the line itself being drawn over a field of black as if they were a screen-capture from a digital painting program (which they’re not – on the contrary, they were created with a tablet and a piece of custom software which captures, plots, and plays-back the drawing gesture).

The lines in each loop begin to fade away as soon as they are drawn, resulting in a “ghosting” effect (in this sense, they look like hyper-complicated representations of the heart beating as it rises and falls in a classic EKG monitor).

However, the rigorous looping combined with the very short run-times of each loop results in the continuous retracing of each line’s path so that just as a point in the trajectory of a given line drawing is about to completely fade away, the drawing of the line from the following loop picks up the slack, breathing new life into the line and sustaining an afterimage of a full shape drawn by the line.

When one views these elements as a whole, then, one views both:

1. An un-changing object (one does see a static shape outlined through the looping drawing of the line).

2. As well as flux (the continuously executed temporal event of the line being drawn).

Each work in the series thus plays with this tension between the work as a spatial object and the work as a temporal object (or alternatively, an understanding of an artwork as a creation and an understanding of an artwork as creating).

To that end, Zucconi alters the frame-rate at which he records the drawing of each of his lines.

So, in drawings with relatively high frame-rate recordings (say, sixty frames-per-second), the action appears “fast” and, thus, the “object-ness” of the shape drawn by the drawing-action is rendered more legible and vice-versa.

When one views through each work of the series, then, one begins to picture the differences between each drawing and between each drawing-time.

Additionally, when the artist projects these works in physical space, his objective as an artist, then, becomes to create a harmony (or dis-harmony as the case may be) between the physical architecture and the frame-rate of the drawing.

The work becomes site-specific.