Incorporating Time into Art
On this episode of the Modern Medium Podcast, we’re talking about a medium not often thought about in the art field: time. How can we incorporate this into art, and what might that look like?
Time-based art can contain anything. It can be oral or visual — whatever you can incorporate into a specific amount of time. Movies, for example, are time-based, as you experience it for an hour and a half or two hours.
The influence of time
The thing that Paris likes most about time is how it can be ritualistic. You can get time anywhere: over the course of a day or a year, or as in an art exhibition where two people live their daily lives for nine months physically attached to each other.
On top of that, time brings to mind how things are going to change: some things are not necessarily always going to end the way they began. It’s easy to fall into our own ritual; we don’t believe time is going to change us, but 40 or 50 years later, we’re asking ourselves how we got here because this isn’t where we began.
Some examples of time-based art
In photography, artists have done the thing where they take a photo of themselves 365 days a year and you end up with a wall of prints of how you’ve changed within that time.
Paris’s personal project is on feelings and emotions. Every day this term, she’s been writing a definitive statement about the way that she is; an “I am _____” statement. It’s her way of coming back to herself and becoming more grounded and fully understanding where she’s at. At the end of the term, she will stitch each statement together, creating a compiled sense of who she was and is.
In terms of graphic design, what we think of on our computer and phone screens as permanent really aren’t. That in itself is a sort of time-based art. We don’t know how long we’ll have these things because they’re not tangible.
Our social media platforms are ways to share our own time-based art, because you’re getting this very selective, very narrow snapshot of what someone is experiencing at that specific time.
Thinking about time
Pick a sense, and spend 24 hours being fully aware of it. For example, what are the sounds that you experience when you go to class? As you go home? Or commute to work? Just begin to acknowledge the way you’re moving through time, because it’s easy not to think about.
Documentation is also critical: it’s easy to experience and acknowledge these things, but how are you going to see how they’ve changed over time if you don’t document it?
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