Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathPerception
Theaters (Sugimoto, Hiroshi), 1978Illuminated Average #1; Hitchcock's Psycho (Campbell, Jim), 2000

icon: previous page

Film time

In the use of audiovisual media, the dimension of time plays a special role. The interpretation of a photograph as a depiction of an individual moment or a film sequence as a representation of a temporal process presumes certain conventions of representation and perception. In order to emphasize time as a special, constitutive element of perception, the usual patterns of perception in the individual media are broken through or subverted. This becomes particularly clear in various artistic engagements with the illusionary space of the cinema. By transferring temporal processes to a temporal medium that stands still (like photography), artists like Hiroshi Sugimoto or Jim Campbell are able to visualize representational structures of time. Here, the relationship of time to space is often central to these studies of perception. In so doing, the means of conventional photography serve more or less the fusion and condensation of temporal processes, while digital technology allows a layering and superimposition of individual temporal segments. With the help of light, Hiroshi Sugimoto illustrates the condensation of time. In his photograph


series «Theaters,» which he has been working on since the 1970s, he exposes the cinema as a site that shapes space and time with light. Usually, the architectural space of the cinema steps into the background as soon as the light of the projector is turned on. Sugimoto, however, condenses the entire film on one photo, inverting the relationship of real space to illusionary space. He exposes his photographs over the entire course of a film showing, and thus returns film to its foundation, that is, light. The entire film is thus contained in a single photo, but due to the long exposure time the screen only appears as a bright surface. All that remains visible is the physical space of the cinema. A similar goal is pursued by Jim Campbell in his work «Illuminated Average #1 Hitchcock's Psycho» (2000) by storing the temporal course of a film on one single slide. But he works with digital, and not analog, technology. At issue is thus not the duration of exposure that produces a certain amount of light, but the addition of individual film images and their data. Here, image after image are superimposed on one other, producing a concentration of light and contrast that only allow the outlines of a plot to be glimpsed in

icon: next page