Media Arts Program

Monday, September 1, 2008 — Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Joe Merrell

Universal Now

Every month Hallwalls will exhibit video art on The Wall of our cinema vestibule. We are pleased to inaugurate this series with west-coast artist Joe Merrell's dérive, Universal Now (2007), a 3D video that takes viewers on a night-time promenade through what becomes an alien cityscape. Universal Now consists of four temporally offset, nearly identical video sequences stacked as 2D planes in 3D (red/cyan anaglyph) space. Because of this structure, there is no present moment within the context of the piece. The work takes its title from the theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, who wrote: "...simultaneity is relative. There is no universal present moment at every point of space. Events occurring at spatial separations which cannot be connected by a light signal cannot be assigned a particular chronological order which is the same for all observers in all states of motion. So one of the characteristics of the mental 'now'—that all people everywhere are experiencing the same now—is an unjustified extrapolation. There is no universal now, but only a personal one—a 'here and now.'" Universal Now is on view throughout the month of September.