Extended Research Report:
‘Encountering Time-Based Art’
The focus of this research report is the notion of ‘the encounter’ with time-based art. Various concepts of time are addressed throughout in relation to specific examples of temporary or transient artworks in order to develop an understanding of this subject.
This investigation begins by seeking to define the term ‘time-based art’, but a plurality of definitions is uncovered. Similar multiplicity exists within the concept of time itself, a discussion of which leads into a consideration of works by Lee Ufan and Anya Gallaccio in light of the ideas of motionless structural time and ecological time.
The following section delves deeper into philosophical notions of time, exploring ideas related to time perception. Abstract constructs such as dates and ‘clock time’ are discussed alongside works by On Kawara and Christian Marclary. Theories by Edmund Husserl are then examined in relation to an example of the author’s own work.
The essay continues with further reflections on the nature of varying encounters with time-based art. Documentation of temporary works is found to be problematic when addressed in relation to Walter Benjamin’s views on reproduction, while works by Roman Signer and Allan Kaprow explore the notion of ‘work as event’.
The investigation concludes by addressing the relationships between change and chance, retention and recollection, and ‘lived time’ and ‘represented time’. The issue of ‘authentic experience’ is then identified and discussed within the final analysis.