How do you frame the process of your interactive work? Which stages or moments of time are incorporated in your work? Is your work interactive and public all the time or do you prefer moments of solitary incubation? What and when is the moment of publication ?

If you divide and compose your working process into timeframes then your own choices will become clearer — not only for yourself but also to the others involved in your work.

Since interactive works are based on moments and ephemeral temporal processes, time is a significant if not crucial aspect for artists using interactive working methods.

Every interactive project has many distinct and overlapping timeframes. In identifying and playing with different timeframes, the artist offers a wider scope of new imaginative possibilities.

The most obvious timeframes are demarcated by the moment of publication — that is, when the work becomes public. Yet the elements that take place before and after the public performance are frequently overlooked. In order to draw attention to the importance of all the stages of the process, including research, production, interaction and reflection, we came up with the idea of describing our work as a mass that can be divided into many different colliding and overlapping timeframes .

Thinking about timeframes is not only a way of acknowledging what actually happened or what could prospectively happen, but is also a way of spotlighting remarkable moments in your work that you may not have previously given much thought to, and additionally it is a way for others to appreciate the invisible processes in your interactive work. The most comprehensive way to map and consider your own timeframes is to use the Timeframes model.

Every project is a composite of different time – frames . Although the interactions themselves might exist as very short-lived timeframes , there is a more enduring timeframe experienced by Witnesses of Traces that covers the entire life-span of the work.


Sketch by Nikolaus Gansterer

“I design time frames beforehand to help commissioners
and other participants overcome the fear of my openended
working method. Like me, they do not know what
they are going to get, but at least they will know about
the steps shown in timeframes and the separate budgets
in the design process. I see myself as a sculptor: I design a
structure of timeframes in which creativity and interaction
can take place. The structure itself has its own beauty;
its own aesthetics which I share on different levels of
involvement with others.” Lino Hellings, Amsterdam, May, 2006

“The interaction before the publication of the work can
determine a priori or post priori at which point you want
to do what. When you are working on an open process
you don’t know what kind of work will come out. Using
timeframes, however, you can begin to pinpoint the
varying moments within an interactive work and map and
communicate the interactions, especially when it comes
to promoting your work to commissioners.” Lino Hellings,
Amsterdam, March 2006.

“I think those who work in the visual arts have a completely
different definition of time to those working in theatre.
When you as a sculptor make something it can remain
in your cellar and it doesn’t matter if it only completes
itself after 10 years. Whereas in theatre it is about its
manifestation in the here and now.” Yvonne Dröge Wendel,
Amsterdam, December 2004.

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