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Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathPerception
Present Continuous Past(s) (Graham, Dan), 1974He Weeps for You (Viola, Bill), 1976

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impressions in perceptions of time. In contrast, Dan Graham thematizes time as a dimension that can be experienced in space. With his installation «Present Continuous Past(s)»[23] he treats the relationship of spatial and temporal experience. Perception usually takes place in the present. We are thus are not in the position of perceiving things past or future. Graham constructs a space that makes the phenomenon of constantly continuing presence available to experience by visualizing temporal distance in space. While Nauman and Graham precisely emphasize breaks and discontinuities in the experience of time, Bill Viola produces in his installation «He Weeps For You»[24] (1976) the experience of continuity, constancy, and the connections between micro- and macrostructures. He produces a space of experience based on total perception. In so doing, he addresses «archetypal» notions like the inexorable cycle of renewal, and produces a situation of perception that is directed towards primeval forms and patterns for conceiving human life. By focusing the gaze on a constantly falling and acoustically amplified water drop, Viola shows the smallest events magnified many times over, thus


directing attention towards the observation of constancy and one's own consciousness.[25] The personal experience of a continuous time is thus amplified by the observation of the constantly newly emerging drop that reflects the observer.


In the early phase of the medium, the confrontation with individual experiences of perception was less prominent than the interest in the general possibilities video offered for aesthetics and communication technology. Many artists were more interested in an approach that focused on media analysis. Due to its technological proximity to television, video art was often seen as an intersection between art and commercial mass communication. Particularly in the beginning, the ambivalent relationship between video and television was treated by many artists. Reflections emerged of the medium television through intentional delimitation, imitation, subversion, manipulation, appropriation, destruction, alienation, etc. Usually the communication process itself was central in these works.[26]

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