The Extended Moment, 1999
I did not expect the challenge of Extension i to be as intriguing as it has become. I certainly did not expect the ways of seeing it represented to be as closely related to the ways of seeing I have been pursuing in other avenues.
Recontextualizing — placing objects in new environments or combining two environments into a new whole — seemed natural to me. Resynchronizing — resequencing events in time — was more challenging. When resequencing I was challenged to see an object or an environment not just for what it appeared to be but also for what it might soon appear to be.
Looking solely at the surfaces of things from a single point of view at a single time seems limited to me. I gaze at the azure sky above me, knowing that unseen constellations pass behind it. I look at the reflections on the surface of the water, knowing that an entirely different world lays below it. I look upon the surface of my own body, never having seen the bones, the brain, the lungs, the heart — trusting they are there. Sometimes we need confirmation. Sometimes we need to look again. Sometimes we need to keep looking. I like to look at things from multiple perspectives. I also like to look at things many, many times.
Now. Between before and after. How long is now? I’ve learned to think of now as very fast. But I find it equally challenging, perhaps more, to think of now as very slow. Now could be a longer duration of time. Now could be a very long duration of time. It’s a matter of perspective.
When the undulating distortions of my experiments with scanning moving objects first appeared, I was intrigued but I didn’t know what to do with them. They were so unusual all I could think to do was present them as they were, without environments. These experiments offered many interesting insights. They were challenging enough to look at. It was difficult to find their logic. It was even more difficult to find their meaning. It took some time for this material to sink in. Rodin’s statement that it is the photograph that is mendacious, for it destroys the coming and going, the here and there of things, struck a chord within me. I had been fascinated with Hindu representations of continuity in time: Shiva had many heads; Kali had many arms; a man was an infant, an adult, and an old man in a single image. I was also particularly attracted to images found in West Coast Native American art; in them you could see both sides of an animal depicted simultaneously in a marvelous symmetry. Surely there must be ways of making images of things unseen from a single perspective, things seen from multiple perspectives, and their unity. I had not anticipated that this would be one way of doing so. Again, my curiosity functioned as a beacon for a solution I could not yet see. Even when it appeared, it took me some time to realize what had arrived.