Time-based-art: art and the experience of the present

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posted on 11/25/2015
Third meeting at Galpão VB discusses the connection between Collection artwork and the thinking of Boris Groys, a collaborator for Caderno Sesc_Videobrasil 06: Tourist/Motorist

“Time-based art documents time that is in danger of being lost as a result of its unproductive character.” This statement made by the German philosopher and art critic Boris Groys in his article “Comrades of time,” from Caderno Sesc_Videobrasil 06: Tourist/Motorist, provides one of the starting points for reflection in the third meeting of the project An educational immersion in the current publications of the Institution: Cadernos Sesc_Videobrasil, held fortnightly on Tuesdays, at 8pm in the Reading Room of Galpão VB. At the December 1 meeting, four Videobrasil Collection pieces by the artists Iván Marino, Maya Watanabe, Marcellvs L. and Kush Badhwar – which are available for consultation at the Video Library located in the Galpão venue – will be reviewed from the perspective of the notions of “weak signal” and contemporaneity in art propounded by Boris Groys.

In addition to Groys’ own article, Caderno Sesc_Videobrasil 06: Tourist/Motorist (2010), edited by the curator Fernando Oliva, includes an interview of his to Luiza Proença entitled “Strong signals/weak signals.” Groys believes that what he calls time-based art mirrors the contemporary condition well by thematizing “non-productive, wasted, non-historical, surplus time” and capturing activities that do not lead to the creation of any specific product. He purports that in offering a model of non-historical repetition, contemporary art produces an experience of the present that is irreducible to its past and future dimensions, as opposed to the temporality of modern projects. This resistance of the present supposedly relates to a heritage of the historical avant-gardes in their attempt to create “weak signals” and present the irreducible terms that underlie artistic work, in a reduction that allegedly paved the way for contemporary art as documentation of this surplus time in the face of the project’s temporality.

Groys’ thinking feeds the discussion of issues addressed by the video installations PN=N! (2006), by Iván Marino, El Contorno (2011), by Maya Watanabe, 9493 (2013), by Marcellvs L., and the video Blood Earth (2013), by Kush Badhwar, the latter of which is showing until December 6 at Sesc Pompeia as part of the 19th Festival’s Southern Panoramas | Selected Works exhibition.

The event is open to the public and the texts and artworks are available for consultation in Galpão VB’s Reading Room.

The themed meeting series An educational immersion in the current publications of the Institution: Cadernos Sesc_Videobrasil sets out to explore the discussions outlined in the Caderno Sesc_Videobrasil magazine, produced jointly by Videobrasil and Edições Sesc São Paulo, in association with the Videobrasil Collection and other Associação productions. In a bid to invite the public to explore the collection and other contents generated by Videobrasil, reference materials are released in the week preceding the onsite activity.

Held by Videobrasil’s Archive and Research Team, the actions take place fortnightly in the Reading Room, a research space allowing visitors access to 1,300-plus video works; a visual arts library with 3,000-plus titles; and to PLATFORM:VB. The meetings are held on Tuesdays, when Galpão VB opening hours are extended until 8pm.

Find out more about the themes of the project’s first and second meetings.


Meeting 3: Caderno Sesc_Videobrasil 06 – Tourist/Motorist

December 1 (Tuesday), 8pm

Reading Room | Galpão VB | Av. Imperatriz Leopoldina 1150, São Paulo, Brazil


Caderno Sesc_Videobrasil 06 – Tourist/Motorist [find out more and buy] [PDF]

PN=N! (2006), by Iván Marino, video installation, 16th Festival

El Contorno (2011), by Maya Watanabe, El Contorno, 18th Festival

9493 (2013), by Marcellvs L., El Contorno,  18th Festival

Blood Earth (2013), by Kush Badhwar, video, 19th Festival