Temporal Representations and 5 Minutes Conversations at Kinesis and Stasis

On Friday 27th November, CCW PhD doctoral researcher Mohammad Namazi is presenting his talk Temporal Representations at the Barbican Art Centre as part of the the event Kinesis and Stasis. The event is organised by the TECHNE student (Un)Conference to explore a wide range of interdisciplinary interpretations under the theme of Kinesis and Stasis.

Namazi’s paper explores the associations of temporality with contemporary art practice in visual art. His talk at the (un)conference, introduces methodologies such as; conversations, sound, kineticism, installation, participation and sculptural structures as integral part of the creation of the artworks.

On a theoretical level it is also investigating Peter Osborn’s ideas about post-conceptual art as the contemporary art (Osborn, 2013).  The investigation considers art practices that reflects participatory characteristics, processed based or temporal artworks.

As part of the Kinesis and Stasis event, Namazi is also invited to exhibit his recent sound installation. 5 Minutes Conversations, is an investigational platform where dialogical methods and sound performance act as the media of the artwork. The project features one-on-one dialogues and uses the generated information, as the material for a live sound performance, executed by the participants.

The stall lends a non-critical ear to the participants’ views on art and the role of artists in the twenty-first century. It collects ideas and reflects them in order to engage with the particular values of each individuals. Involving the public directly with the process, through methods such as; dialogue and sound device interaction, suggests a collective form of art production in which, not only the construction of the final artwork is temporary but also in alliance with the participation and contribution of the public.

The temporality of dialogue and sound as media opens up possibilities to investigate the outcome of the project in other dynamic formats. For instance, within the virtual world of the internet, the project explores how the documentation of physical activities with temporal representations can morph into other kinds of representations in a digital medium.

The transition that occurs from a dialogue to a sound performance highlights the participatory methodologies for this socially engaged artwork. In addition it attempts to explore the values and differences of temporal art practices in visual art discourse within both, the physical and digital environment.

In his abstract for the talk ‘Temporal Representations’, Namazi says, ‘Temporal Artworks, kineticism and discontinuity became a focal point of analysis in theoretical texts of the late 1960s. For example, Jack Burnham noted that “the cultural obsession with the art object is slowly disappearing […]”. (Burnham, 369: 1968)

Around the same time as Duchamp claimed that artworks have their own “life-span”, (Antoine, 1966), Lucy Lippard documented how art can be unstable and short-lived (Lippard, 1973 and Osborne, 2011)

More recently, Nicolas Bourriaud has suggested that we now live in a “disposable world”, where temporal characteristics are emerging such that “the short-lived is overtaking the long-term […], [and] the stability of things […] is becoming the exception rather than the rule.” (Bourriaud, 80: 2009)

Although still a contested field (see: Peter Burger Theory of the Avant-Garde, 1984, and Hal Foster’s Return of the Real, 1996), ideas such as these have often been central articulations of the early avant-gardes and the neo-avant-gardes.

This paper will examine, consolidate and contribute to understanding of theory and practice addressing contemporary artworks that can be described as temporal. It also aims to explore how ideas such as “Manifesto of Realism” by Gabo (1920) and theories such as “Manifesto for Statics” by Tinguely (1959); could influence the practice of visual arts in such ways that temporality in the field of conceptual art become more prominent in the 21st century.’

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