Delay and Non-Materiality in Telecommunication Art


Session Title:

  • Art, Materiality, Space and Time

Presentation Title:

  • Delay and Non-Materiality in Telecommunication Art




  • We can describe art as an asynchronous delivering of messages over physical or time distance. It maintains presence from the past and from far away, distant presence. Masters have been making artworks which are perceived by audience hundreds and thousands years later. It could be, that the sender of the artistic message has not been in existence for millennia (like authors of cave paintings). In this case, interaction between sender and recipient is not possible, but still, the act of delivery exists as there is a receiver.

    We could create an imaginary axis of reception divisions, based on delay, where there are works of art on one side, whose ‘transmission’ to the receiver has lasted for millennia; and artworks sent and received in real time on the other side. Although this kind of formulation points to the vocabulary of information theory and though this viewpoint has been considered, art in this presentation has not been dealt with in this way.

    Delays between performative acts and non-materiality in participative works are substantial attributes in new media art, but there are many examples in earlier art practice and art of the 20th century, which belong to the rich history of non-material art.

    My interest in delay concerns its ability to be part of the concept, when delay between sequences of creation, elements of time-based artwork, exposition and reaction or feedback becomes an integral part of the interaction with the artwork and inseparable from it. Naturally, we can distinguish other episodes of delay, like one which is happening between creative intention of the artist and creative execution of the artwork.

    I am discussing following works: “Telephone Paintings” by  László Moholy-Nagy, collaborative “Refresh project”, “FragMental Storm 02” by Exonemo, “Nothing Happens” by Nurit Bar-Shai and others.

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