From the Artist
"One should write history by starting with scraps and ruins; the task is to reconstitute, patiently, a nomenclature of invisible buildings, to rediscover the exact form of the remnants on which the social edifice now stands. – Nicolas Bourriaud, The Exform, 2016
The act of memory is the act of living a moment. Our brains cannot tell the difference between an experience we are living and our memory of it. This is why, in part, a memory isn’t real, but memory is no less fundamental to our identities. The histories we tell ourselves are formed much the same way. They are narratives we construct to interpret reality, but we cannot see that they are separate from reality. We treat our memories as if they were discrete films in a video library, an archive. However, memory is not an archive. An archive is made of multiple disparate units that come together to form a greater whole. I see no reason that what is constructed from an archive cannot exist in as many discrete forms. This book is one such response to my archive. It can be viewed in isolation from other responses or in conjunction with them.
In a way, I am trying to re-engage with my memories. In a way, I am trying to make them exist in a way they never could. I want them to be multitudinous, to be legion. This book presents output from my archive of VHS tapes. Drawing from vernacular and commercial media, I wish to blur the lines between the way we think our memory works and the media we consume."
Although a pretty small book, Tim’s book holds much in it.
I’ll first start with the cover – a whimsical use of a Video Cassata front that most of us recognize where he added the title of the book and his name. The cover itself brings us back to a different time zone, a different state of mind as we know and recognize this as something from our past. Usually when we are confronted with images and or visuals from our past, we automatically become nostalgic towards it.
The texture of the book, I know you can’t feel it, is a soft velvety & smooth which, for me, added to that feeling of comfort.
Once opening the book, we are faced with vibrant images that in first glance almost make no sense. They are abstract in some way and feel like a blur. Once you focus your eyes you start to see the images inside, and their layering. It’s an interesting experience, as you get to see a moving video, in a still , yet still feel it’s movement. This futurism type visual creates this notion of experiencing the movement, seeing it to it’s fullest even though it is frozen in time.
This technique allows us to both dive into the still of the video but because it is layers and sometimes distorted, experience it in an entirely new way.
One of the main features in the book is the black space. This space is what creates the conception of a video- as it is not a very common environment for a still, but is for a moving image. The black space creates both a color contrast between it and the vibrant images, but also allows the images to float in this space/no space.
Reading Tim’s statement about memories and that “They are narratives we construct to interpret reality, but we cannot see that they are separate from reality” allows a deeper reading in to the book, beyond the first visual of old fashioned techniques and a nostalgic feel of old cartoons. The books become more like a metaphor for memories in general, and the cartoon or VHS are only the tools Tim is using to convey them. I find this to be a fun and interesting approach to a sometimes deep and hard to visualize subject matter.
Please see more of Tim’s work on his website