Time Machine To The Present
by Sarah Rushford
“Compound Vision,” Emma Hogarth’s site-responsive interactive video installation, is a time machine that delivers us to the present. Currently featured in the “You Are Here” exhibition on view through March 26 at the New Art Center, 61 Washington Park, Newtonville, Mass., it operates as a portal through which the viewer passes in order to re-experience time and place.
By viewing recorded and live video projections of the New Art Center’s architectural details, the viewer re-sees that irresistible blue window at the head of the gallery, the red door they just walked through and an image of themselves looking at the piece. These unfold quietly, with a charge.
Here are some excerpts from a conversation with Hogarth about ideas that are central to her current interdisciplinary work.
Rushford: You use the word “uncanny” in your description of “Compound Vision.” As a viewer, I enjoyed a certain disjointedness of time and space. Can you say more about the uncanny in your work?
Emma Hogarth: I’m glad to hear that you had that experience, that’s one of my intentions. The uncanny has to do with the subtle skewing of time and space. What I’m interested in is how an artwork can stop you in time and bring you to the present so you’re in a time bubble, if you will. We’re all carrying a computer in our pocket. We’re watching things that were recorded a few minutes ago or a few years ago or 50 years ago, so there’s this enmeshing of past and present that technology is always doing; we’re constantly jumping around in time. This piece is about bringing you to the present moment and showing you what it means to be here by having your present experience parsed through technology, re-edited, fragmented, and re-represented to you. It’s kind of a metaphor for what we’re experiencing all the time.