Clocks for Seeing
The photograph is a remarkably precise yet highly inaccurate method of communication. Clocks for Seeing is a series of portraits which examines the theories of photography presented in Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida.
Each sitter was asked to remain in place for sixty seconds as they were filmed. Each frame of the resulting video was then layered consecutively to create a still image which encapsulates and averages all the movement of the subject into a single warped, distorted face.
The photograph mechanically repeats what could never be repeated existentially. –Roland Barthes
The expression and perception of time is a recurring theme in my work. I believe my interest comes from a frustration which is common to all of humanity; cameras are primarily, if not solely, dedicated to the relief of this frustration in their attempt to perform the impossible: the cessation of time’s progression and the capture of a moment. This act reveals the camera to be a remarkably precise yet fundamentally inaccurate instrument.
Even if one has a general knowledge of the way people walk, one knows nothing of a person’s posture during the fractional second of a stride. –Walter Benjamin
A photograph of a frozen moment is limited in its potential; it reiterates only a fragment of information. Clocks for Seeing is an attempt to address this inaccuracy, using both Barthes’ and Benjamin’s theories to explore the reactions of one sitting for a photograph and the meaning of the image created.
Rather than capturing a fraction of a second for a portrait, the sitter is asked to remain in place for up to sixty seconds, and is filmed at a rate of twenty-five frames per second. Each frame is layered on top of the frame before, composing a single, unusual image which encapsulates the movement and features of the sitter: pose, emotive expression, relaxation, or discomfort.