AT13: Tempography – a conceptual video art project
Participating in this Art Talk were some students from UNIS (the United Nations International School in Hanoi) and many familiar faces of audience. MC Thu Thuy started by a brief introduction on GreenZoom, Art Talk and Tempography.
When asked, one of the two listeners who attended the exhibition in Goethe Institute made a mistake that it was a strange exhibition of Japanese artists with negative photos. The other was Brian Ring, who is currently developing a blog updating art and cultural events in Vietnam (hanoigrapevine.com).
Tempography is not a new kind of art, but it was a conceptual video art project promoted by a Swiss artist Anthony Bannwart and a film maker Magnus Aroson from Sweden. Tempography captures moments, seconds that photography cannot catch and the video often ignores. The length of a tempograph is often 4 to 30 seconds.
Tempography is a combination of “tempo” (movement) and “photography” (image), but it doesn’t mean that a repeated movement can make a good tempograph. Digging deeper in the project, we will understand the concept or message that the artist wants to deliver. Tempography appreciates moments that are not always repeatable and requires sophisticated observation to “catch” it. This idea was not really clear like that when Anthony started the project. Almost all tempographs exhibited at Goethe Institut 2 months ago were about repeatable movements. The most noticeable and made Anthony impressed was the one with the red light and its shadow on the wall.
Tempography is a conceptual video art project. The conceptual art was not new at all, but using the video as the material was just recently. In conceptual art, the artist expresses his concepts, ideas or opinion by his art works.
To let the audience experience and share further their feelings on Tempography, Brian Ring and MC Thu Thuy shared many Tempographs exhibited in Goethe Institut and over the world such as in Seoul, Korean.
Initially, the concept of “tempography” was broad, but along the project process, it was gradually tighten. It gets more focused on movement and minimizes other factors such as editing, cut, colors, fade, etc. The sound was also removed. In Seoul, where the project was conducted before in Vietnam, people can capture or film movements of human, but in Vietnam, human is not the focus as people have already appeared in too many films, videos and images. In Seoul, many tempographs were about artificial set up, but in Vietnam, they targeted on natural movements without intention of people. It was harder as it requires more focus and observation to capture the movement.
One more thing that makes Tempography different is that the artist does not create, then exhibits his art works and attracts audience alone, but he/she starts with his/her theme or ideas, then encourage audience to participate in making art works. Public audience can use whatever tools they have, such as filming camera, photo camera, mobile phone, etc. despite whoever they are, amateur of professional.
What remains after the Art Talk was the curiosity to dig deeper and experiment with Tempography. We hope that in a very near future, many inspiring and interesting tempographs will be made by the audience of this Art Talk.