[May 22 – July 20] Yael Kanarek The Time Room: Three Videoclocks

The Time Room: Three Videoclocks. Structured to reflect current time, Jungle recounts a casual tennis match between essayist Philip Lopate and composer Martin Bresnick. In Swing a child swinging is a pendulum while the audio marks the time as the children discuss the scarcity of water in Israel. Explosion 1960 is a silent, one year cycle videoclock created with footage appropriated from U.S. Atomic Energy Commission in 1960. Works courtesy of Bitforms gallery.

May 22 – July 20, 2015 noon – 5 pm daily 

Jungle: Lopate vs. Bresnick, 2013

computational video with sound

custom software, computer, speakers

1 year cycle videoclock

display dimensions variable

Edition of 6, 1 AP

Jungle: Lopate vs. Bresnick,  recounts the story of a casual tennis match in Italy between two of Kanarek’s friends, essayist Philip Lopate and composer Martin Bresnick. Structured to reflect current time, custom software controls the video playback, synchronizing a myriad of clips and sounds. At the fourth quarter of each hour, the voice of Werner Herzog describes the jungle of Fitzcarraldo as an unfinished part of creation. Marking the passing of minutes, days, months and years, Mighty Mouse (also known as the Mouse of Tomorrow) valiantly flies across the screen. Jeff Buckley’s opening breath from the song “Hallelujah” strikes on the top of each hour. As the gentlemen play, Kanarek’s collage forms a place of never-ending stasis, one that embodies Herzog’s experiences in the jungle and resists leisured sports culture. The project was filmed last year during an artist residency at the Civitella Ranieri in Umbria, Italy.

Video documentation: http://vimeopro.com/bitforms/kanarek/video/65646632

Explosion 1960, 2011
computational video with sound

custom software, computer, speakers

duration: 1 year, cycling in 12 one-hour periods

display dimensions variable

Edition of 6, 1 AP

“Explosion 1960” employs the computer clock as a playback metronome. Through repetition it evokes a meditation on the deep subject of time. Over a year, as full revolution is completed. Each explosion on the screen is synchronized in a loop with with six temporal unit of measure: seconds, minutes, hours, days, months and years. The top of each hour is struck in repetition, as are traditional clocks. Thus at 9:00 PM the pieced strikes nine times.

Appropriated footage in this piece originated in 1960. Documentation of tests, it pictures the result of massive underground explosions by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission during Operation Dugout.

Custom software controlling the video playback in this piece is driven by the computer’s internal clock hardware.

Video documentation:http://vimeopro.com/bitforms/kanarek/video/36149614

Swing, 2011

computational video with sound

custom software, computer, speakers
12 hour cycle videoclock
display dimensions variable
Edition of 6, 1 AP

In the piece “Swing”, a digital clock is used as the compositional device. The work runs live on a computer and is played by software that syncs video and audio with the computer’s internal clock. Thus, actual time is represented by the audiovisual experience on-screen.

From the 16th Century until the 1930s, the most accurate time-keeping technology was the pendulum. Now obsolete, the pendulum is alluded to with the swinging gesture of a child named Yoav. For he and the other children, time is digital and about counting numbers. In “Swing”, they take upon themselves the role of timekeeping. At the 23rd minute of the hour, for example, which is the same around the world, his brother, Nadav announces that Yoav has been swinging continuously for 23 minutes.

Every hour, the two brothers and their friends discuss the scarcity of water in Israel and the lack of peace with Syria. Aged between 6 and 8 years old, their simple conversations voice international concerns and national anxieties. “If there’s no more water in the Sea of Galilee, we’re doomed,” says one child. “Right. We’ll die. It’s not like other countries will do us a favor and serve us and say ‘Hey, let’s bring them icebergs from Antarctica’,” says the other. Using sound as the primary punctuation of time, seconds are indicated by dripping water, as are the strikes at the top of an hour.

“Swing” is messy like child’s play. It proposes form and repeatedly breaks it, starting again. Breaking a fourth wall, the artist herself interferes in the frame, cameras are adjusted abruptly, and family members discuss the film production. Powerfully blurring the roles of community, political and environmental life, Kanarek’s constantly ticking clock articulates a myriad of relationships that underlie our experience of the present moment.

Video documentation:http://vimeopro.com/bitforms/kanarek/video/35577306

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