[ISEA2011] Paper: Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo – From Still to Moving: An Almost Indistinguishable Moment


Analyses on film and photography often characterize the photograph as a still image and film as a sequence of images (Campany 2007). As a practice-based researcher and digital artist I challenge this notion, engaging with photography as a time-based medium and creating work that is situated in that very short moment when still images become moving and therefore not definable as just one or the other. Instead, they should be situated in media or electronic arts and not in the traditional label of photography.

I use the production of my artworks as an opportunity to challenge and redefine existing media with an ongoing interest in space and time – how each can be captured, represented, and redefined. In this paper I specifically discuss the principal techniques I incorporate into my image-based work, such as pairing and layering (digitally and physically), pushing it far away from the realm of the “still image”.  I question our capacity to perceive slow changes and multiple temporalities through works that explore both. Furthermore, I argue that in this fast-paced era in which 24 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube each minute, we have lost our ability to slow down and really see images and small changes.

The work of contemporary artists such as Bill Viola, David Hockney, and Hiroshi Sugimoto offer a framework for my own artworks which, through physical and digital layering and pairing, superimpose various temporal moments to create “still” works in constant motion.  They exist more as time-based media that incorporate photography as a vehicle for the production of images, and less as “time-fossils” (Orlow 1999).

  • Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo is an artist, technologist and educator. She works primarily with digital media and on themes of time and transience. Her artwork has been internationally exhibited and performed, including at Giacobetti Paul Gallery, Exit Art and HERE Arts (NYC), UCLA Hammer Museum (LA), Point Éphémère (Paris) and the Museums of Modern Art in Bogotá and Medellín (Colombia). She recently self-published “Of and In Cities,” an academically framed art book about five of her photographic projects, and “Cross Urban,” which documents the first two years of an ongoing collaboration with Klaus Fruchtnis. Since 2007 she has been an active participant in the university-wide project DEED: Development through Empowerment, Entrepreneurship, and Design, which she now directs. Cynthia has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá) and a Masters in Interactive Telecommunications (ITP) from New York University. She is currently Assistant Professor of Integrated Design in the School of Design Strategies at Parsons The New School for Design and an active member of Madarts, an arts collective in Brooklyn, NY, USA.  cynthialawson.com/site

Full text (PDF) p.  1276-1281