Erik Sanner Home Visual Other About

works in progress

earlier this week liz asked me "what are you working on?" i realized i hadn't really prioritized projects in a while, or taken stock of where i was on some of them - so i responded by putting together this:

the idea is that this will be an ever-changing document which will help me to keep track of what i want to be doing now, what i'm planning on doing next, what i meant to do and didn't end up doing for one reason for another - i realized there are projects i've thought of doing for several years now - i don't like that, i want to finish some of them up and move on to new ones.

here's an image from working on "life mapping" - a recently-begun work-in-progress which i also want to bring to a complete phase within the next few weeks.

it may have another incarnation as an interactive piece with viewer-maker participation, but i think the initial work is nearly complete.

the bridge

i was invited to share a five-second video as part of a group show of five-second videos. i th
ink it’s going to be fun and i hope you can join us for the opening.

from john:

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super short video!
a group show of five-second videos
curated by john tymkiw

have you ever been struck by a sidelong glance?

brief encounters always leave something open to interpretation.

and they can be more emotionally powerful than lengthy explanations.

this exhibition brings together a diverse group of filmmakers, artists and
creators to explore this idea in very short videos. just five seconds long.

enough time to say something – and show something.

yet short enough to leave room for imagination.

opening reception
wednesday, february 24th, 8-11 pm at secret project robot

210 kent avenue, williamsburg, brooklyn

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why i made a five-second video, and what i think about john's project:

when john first approached me about making a five-second video for the group show he was curating, i was hesitant. my work is typically non-linear non-narrative new media installations which can be looked at for one second or ten minutes (like paintings) rather than viewed from beginning to end (like movies).

however, i kept thinking about it. i want to do different things in my art and in my life, i don’t want to do the same things over and over – this would be something different for me. and it’s not like i‘ve never made pure video work before, i just don’t do it very often or take it very seriously. and i‘d recently been experimenting with some pieces which exist purely in the digital realm without a necessary physical component (e.g., this unfinished self portrait which can take several seconds to load, i really like making art and sharing it with people, and i like being invited to do things, so i was motivated to both thank john for the invitation by making some work for his show, as well as the knowledge that he would secure a venue and the work would be seen by somebody. john is fun and i could imagine that a lot of the submissions would be fun. i like shows where an instigator of one sort or another says “let’s make something and here are the rules” – for example, not “let’s all make work about [the sensation of flying]” but “let’s limit our pieces to three colors each” – formal rather than thematic limits, this makes me excited. i would want to know what it’s possible to do with three hours, three colors, and three hands, for example. so “the rule is that it’s five seconds long” resonated with me – i‘vebeen involved on both ends of that sort of project before and typically enjoy it. finally, i had been thinking, a month or two earlier, about making
a short video (not five seconds short, but short). i‘’d had a very vivid and confusing dream which i‘d been thinking about using as the basis for a piece. i had pretty much given up on the idea, thinking that it would take too much time, wasn’t quite aligned with my goals for my work, etc. but could i condense maybe three minutes of dream time into five seconds of video time? an invitation, the funness of john and the likelihood of fun submissions, a potential audience, strict formal rules, and being able to go ahead and realize my dream, literally, with the pressure-relieving thought “it’s just five seconds!” – i realized yes this was something i wanted to do, yes this was an experience i wanted to have, yes this was something i wanted to make and share.

since submitting my video, i‘vebeen thinking about the contemporary nature of john‘s project. not only was all the work created in the last couple of months, but i think this show is an example of the experience of “everything speeding up all the time” we are all living through. five seconds seems short now, but not incredibly short –it’s not like a second or a millisecond or a nanosecond – you can count it out, you can imagine winning a basketball game if you still have five seconds. i think five
seconds is longer than it used to be, and i think ten or twenty years from now, these videos will all feel longer than five seconds of our sensation of time in 2010. it used to take months to cross the ocean, now several hours feels slow, aren’t there faster planes? this is a sensation that is only going to accelerate, that when things don’t happen instantly, they feel slow. it‘s not just that “people aren’t as patient now”
or “as you get older, time speeds up” (probably both true) – it’s that we’re doing more things in shorter amounts of time, and we’re going to keep being able to do more things in shorter and shorter increments. what really struck me about the five-second videos is a memory i had from school when i was growing up. a teacher said that television networks were finding that cuts from one shot to another must occur at least once every five seconds or the audience would become bored. at least once every five seconds! television networks aren’t the behemoth powers today that they were back then, but i wonder, what do they say now?

don't want to give too much away, but here are two images from making "the bridge":

hope to see you at the show. in any case, will put it up online after wednesday night.

thank you john for including me, and thank you ruthie for starring in my dream!