Video & Memory

Exploration of the subject of time in video works during the period of 2004~2008

ON THE DURATION OF TIME

The notion of time as something mechanical, objective and measurable by a machine, conceived as a mathematical variable that seems to increasingly control our lives. As with modern science, the time that rules us is understood quantitatively, as a discontinuous extension, a straight line that can be infinitely divided into instants that aren’t necessarily related. Everything passes as if there is no sequence, nor accumulation of the past in the present. Nowadays, as well as lack of memory, it seems we are also loosing the notion of the duration of time, as time lived, disassociated to the movement of continually planned moments.

Ivan’s work presented, permits us to reflect on questions related to time and memory. It is composed of a closed circuit where a video camera, which faces and captures images from a rectangular aquarium containing a live Goldfish, the image is transmitted to a monitor, which has the same proportions of the aquarium and also faces it. Between the camera and the monitor there is an apparatus, which gives a three second delay to the live image. In this way the fish, which as we know has a three second memory-span, can see it’s recent past, which would otherwise not be able to reach.

Here the public can witness both the present and the past simultaneously, the fish and its actions of a few seconds before. Further to allowing these times to symbolically co-exist, otherwise dissociated by the lack of memory, the circuit elaborated by the artist aims to reconnect the past to the present as if it is were possible, duplicating the images, prolonging them. The artist’s project appears to recover the notion of time as something infinite. By pointing the video camera to the transparent aquarium, part of the image created by it, and transmitted to the monitor, is once again captured, infinitely duplicating itself. The three-second delays are also multiplied in the same way.

Perhaps from this time, of mechanical and measurable technology, which tends to objectify everything, we are able to recreate identical and disconnected instants, within a constant flux. After all, as a moment a passes by, it contains not only part of what precedes it but also a part of what succeeds it. This distances us from the thought of time as something that can be divided into equally divided intervals and permits it to be conceived as an immeasurable continuous passage, hence, as pure duration.

 

CAUÊ ALVES | PROFESSOR OF ARCHITECTURE AND URBANISM OF THE ESCOLA DA CIDADE, UNIVERSITY OF COMMUNICATION OF FAAP AND CURATOR OF THE CLUBE DE GRAVURA, MAM-SP | 2006

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In order to move one step further on the evolution of the project Symbiotic Machine, ‘Caravel’ is created in this project. Caravel uses Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) technology to harvest electricity from anaerobic bacteria and organic components in the water. The hexagonal form has the function to exactly match and join other Caravels to create a bigger surface and operate as a swarm.

BETWEEN TIME AND TEMPORALITY

In the gallery there are simply projections of images captured by cameras on display. Contrary to the prominent spacial tenor of paintings, sculptures or drawings, these works by Ivan Henriques investigate the limits of our sensorial and intelectual experience of the space by altering or deepening the temporality of the images.

Only the cameras and videos are able to both register and display the images simultaneously. Without corporeity nor density, these images co-exist in the same space eventhough they belong to different times, such ghosts of light electronically leave the body.

Even so, the two works presented, Câmera de monitoramento e Octagron’ present differences between them which begin at the investigation of small deflections of real-time, up to their representation, cristallized as a finished work.

The first of these is born out of the artist’s poetic interference with the real-time flux in the exhibition space. Hence, an in situ intervention, where meaning cannot be disassociated from the physical or institutional nature of the space in which it inscribes itself.

One camera close to the exhibition space entrance staircase, registers the arrival of each visitor into the gallery. These images are deliberately projected to the right of the entrance, with a delay sufficient to enable the visitors to see themselves going up the stairs eventhough they will have already have reached the top. This first projection (video-delay) is captured by the gallery’s own monitoring camera, which in turn, projects in real-time, onto the left wall of the room.

The visitors are invited to view their own sensory experience (since we see by seeing) and therefore become both theme and content from that which would otherwise not be revealed by the space’s own monitoring camera.

Octagron operates by another logic. It is concerned with a finished work which according to the artist is composed of “images previously recorded by 8 cameras around my body which will be transmitted in loop by 8 monitors within a determined circumferance with 2 metres in diameter. The 8 monitors will be facing outwards.”

Here Ivan is the protagonist. Since the public can only see themselves within a minimal oscilation of real-time, in contrast, the artist’s actual body is recorded on video for ever.

His identity unfolds in 8 points of view, exhibited at the external limits of a circle, its comprehension is only possible by the spectator’s trajectory around the work. Therefore, there is here another kind of temporality, and one which depends on the time it takes the visitors to move round this video-istallation.

Time-space, artist/ public become in these works images of images. They appear to evoke the density of time perfectly sinthesized by Michel Faucault’s thought on the relationship between knowledge and reality: ‘every interpretation is an interpretation of an interpretation…”.

FERNANDO COCCHIARALE | INDEPENDENT CURATOR | 2008

photos: Bernardo Brik

Caravel

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Subtitle / Name

In order to move one step further on the evolution of the project Symbiotic Machine, ‘Caravel’ is created in this project. Caravel uses Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) technology to harvest electricity from anaerobic bacteria and organic components in the water. The hexagonal form has the function to exactly match and join other Caravels to create a bigger surface and operate as a swarm.

MEMÓRIA DO CORPO E[M] POLIFONIA

A arte da performance, liberando o instante à vertigem da emergência de Universos ao mesmo tempo estranhos e familiares, tem o mérito de levar ao extremo as implicações dessa extração de dimensões intensivas, a-temporais, a-espaciais, a-significantes a partir da teia semiótica da cotidianeidade.(1)O vídeo possibilitou para a arte uma nova cooperação entre as imagens em movimento e as artes performativas: descolada da idéia de participação ou presença física do espectador, a performance de estúdio, sob o olhar do vídeo, torna-se uma forma distendida de performance. Tal procedimento tornou-se prática artística a partir da década de 1960, principalmente em experimentos como os de Bruce Nauman, Vitto Acconci, Richard Serra, Dennis Oppenheim, dentre outros que criaram em vídeo registros para ações performáticas sem audiência presente no local da ação.

Superposição é um trabalho que propõe inicialmente uma percepção de inúmeras camadas temporais a partir do corte na imagem videográfica: sem a mediação de softwares de edição, o trabalho de superposição de imagens é feito a partir da gravação em tempo presente de uma situação performática que, em seguida, é reprojetada em uma superfície de modo a compor um ‘plano de fundo’ para uma próxima ação do performer. Este processo de captura de imagens + posterior projeção + nova filmagem é realizado até que a performance alcance seu término. Nesse ponto, somos tomados por uma vertigem, pois o trabalho não se limita a movimentos em mera seqüência: na simbiose entre o corpo do artista e o espaço performático do vídeo, encontramos uma a-temporalidade perceptiva que suplanta toda uma leitura sequencial e lógica dos acontecimentos. Deleuze faz uma distinção entre estes tempos: “(…) Aion, que é o tempo indefinido do acontecimento, a linha flutuante que só conhece velocidades, e ao mesmo tempo não pára de dividir o que acontece num já-aí e um ainda-não-aí, um tarde-de-mais e um cedo-demais simultâneos, um algo que ao mesmo tempo vai se passar e acaba de se passar. E Cronos, ao contrário, o tempo da medida, que fixa as coisas e as pessoas, desenvolve uma forma e determina um sujeito.” (2)

Por não estabelecer um desenvolvimento narrativo, a performance para Ivan Henriques torna-se também ato e devir. Ao dissolver os contrastes entre a forma humana e sua sombra eletrônica, não mais encontramos um eu-sujeito ou auto-imagem envolvida: ao eliminamos qualquer subjetividade, percebemos o corpo como seu próprio evento e o vídeo não como mera linguagem ou dispositivo, mas como um lugar sensível onde a criação como ato também se instaura.

Por se tratar de uma construção polifônica que nunca se completa, a performance enquanto ato engendra outros modos de sentir a própria arte e seu mundo: se a inquietação do trabalho é a de nunca sabermos o que irá acontecer – ou se eventualmente irá, podemos dizer que em Superposiçãonão há um litoral ou ponto de chegada: o que o corpo (seja o do artista como o do espectador) absorve e carrega, é simplesmente a memória de seu próprio presente. Desta forma, o afeto de criação é o que permite que gestos cotidianos desdobrem-se em infinitas paisagens estético-sensíveis: “A rigor, nada aconteceu, mas é justamente este nada que nos faz dizer”. (3)

Notas:

GUATTARI, Felix. Caosmose – um novo paradigma estético. São Paulo: 34, 1992, p. 114.

DELEUZE, Gilles; GUATTARI, Felix. Mil Platôs – capitalismo e esquizofrenia (volume 4).São Paulo: 34, 1997, p. 42.

DELEUZE, Gilles; GUATTARI, Felix. Mil Platôs – capitalismo e esquizofrenia (volume 3).São Paulo: 34, 1996, p. 65.

TEXTO POR: REBECA RASEL | ARTIST, MA IN VISUAL ARTS – UERJ/RJ.

Caravel

Image Title

Subtitle / Name

In order to move one step further on the evolution of the project Symbiotic Machine, ‘Caravel’ is created in this project. Caravel uses Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) technology to harvest electricity from anaerobic bacteria and organic components in the water. The hexagonal form has the function to exactly match and join other Caravels to create a bigger surface and operate as a swarm.

Part 3

Location, date or chapter

Interactive floating kinetic sculpture, developed during the artist in residency program from Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam with students as part of their school internship, build especially for Henriques solo exhibition titled Relandscape in Rio de Janeiro (Aug – Oct 2016). This bio machine was built from existing technologies that the artist has hacked, as many of his creations. It is in the same research line of evolution which Symbiotic Machine has begun in 2014 and were continued by the creation of Caravel, in 2016.

The main idea is to to create a combined bio-mechanical system: people’s displacement to generate sufficient energy to pump the water to be purified by an hydraulic system. This system is a combination of a spiral pump connected with tubes in which bacteria are living. These bacteria are fed on the organic materials in the water that are one of the leading causes of water pollution.

In comparison to the other aquatic bio machines developed by the artist, with the Waterbike project the public is invited to interact with the machine’s operating system, which was designed to have a continuous life outdoors. The need of human propulsion opens a new context of the evolution of Henriques’ works: the possibility that people can act in a playful and conscious relationship – not alienated – with the machine.

Since this work is completed, more inclined to leisure than labor, it goes against the Fordist model of interaction between man and machine – in which the best picture is still the one Charles Chaplin bequeathed to us in Modern Times (1936). It is important to say that this project was also motivated by the artist’s approach of the actual conditions of Rio de Janeiro State lagoon’s system and Rotterdam’s harbour, composed of small and large ponds  in Rio and canals and ponds in Rotterdam, which are absolutely polluted – some covered by algae and microbes such as Piratininga Lagoon, located in the oceanic region of Niterói, Lagoinha, located in Chico Mendes’ Municipal Natural Park (PNMCM), in Recreio dos Bandeirantes neighborhood and the harbour in Maas river in Rotterdam.

Waterbike in action, Brasil 2016

This project was made possible by: … Funds
Special thanks to:… People