This project’s backstory, and my process of making these photographs, is the major part of this piece, with the archival elements, such as the photographic prints, the book, and the project films being the bits and pieces that make up the end result, thus becoming the project’s physical proof.
How It Came About
My most recent project has been working with the concepts of time in physical space, having begun the project by investigating the idea that all events in the past, present, and future exist in the same moment.
L A G T I M E began while watching streaming media over a really slow internet connection. Occasionally the connection would lag, the moving image would stop in a blur. After the fourth image stalled and blurred, I began shooting these stills that were on my laptop screen, capturing time in the abstract.
The original L A G T I M E project started out by using commercial films online. I realized that I did not want to be derivative of commercial film projects, and because I wanted to explore the archaeology of time in a specific location, I chose to use San Francisco as my first site location to create my own films and as my proving ground for the project because it is close to where I live. Doing this has only strengthened my desire to have the opportunity to work in other site specific projects in Rome and in the Maya ruins of The Yucatan.
Understanding the difference in moving film and moving digital images helps to comprehend this project:
Celluloid film moves through a projector one frame at a time. It is basically a series of 35mm still images that when shown through a projector create the illusion of moving images. If a film got stuck in the projector, it would project a focused clear image because it would stop on a frame, or if it stopped in between frames there would be a marker of a black line between the frames. There is also the chance that the film would break and there would be a torn image or no image at all.
When watching the very same ‘film’ in a digital format, all of the images are still there, but the images kind of slide from one to the next. Only the pixels from the last image that need to be replaced are replaced in the next. So that every time you see a ‘frame’, in the abstract it isn’t a whole image different from the last. Some of the pixels may not have moved for the last one, two, twenty, or more frames. When the digital film lags, or stalls, or even blurs, you are literally sliding between the frames, between the images, and, between time.
Through this project, we can begin to imagine that there is no time other than the present, that all things, as well as all of history, exist in what we refer to as now.
I’ve always thought that this project would be successful if it got the viewer to think about the concept of now, what it is, when it is, and to think about the big picture of our existence. To think about what is visible and what isn’t, to contemplate that place in between things.
In working with the images to create the book and begin to ready the images for creating the prints, I began to rethink my ideas behind the project. As I looked through them, I began to wonder, where did that image come from? Where is that object? Really? It must exist somewhere, because I’ve taken an image of it, but where is it? It obviously is not in the third dimension. Is it in 4D? 5D?
From my perspective, this project has turned out to be a visual meditation, a contemplation of my real place, and my very existence, in the universe.
Will it do the same for others?
Gallery: L A G T I M E : Original Series
Book Preview: L A G T I M E : San Francisco
Note: There are times when I think of putting the images together – either into a long playing slow moving slideshow or stacked together into a movie different from the one that the images originally came from. When I think of music to accompany the images, I often think of The Sounds of Jupiter, NASA recordings by Voyager or some of Bear McCreary’s work from Battlestar Galactica – both of which make me think of the sounds of creation.