Static No.12 (seek stillness in movement), 2010
Watch the video here.
In Static No.12 (seek stillness in movement), Daniel Crooks transports viewers to a park in Shanghai where an old man performs his daily Tai Chi routine. The man’s graceful movements begin to fragment and multiply, becoming distended and mutated within the frame. Crooks’ image draws viewers into a sensual, slow-moving relationship with the man’s gestures, which seem molten and malleable, submerged in elastic time. Watching Static No.12 (seek stillness in movement) can create the feeling of entering a new dimension where the rules of time and space have changed. The densely layered drones and hums of the video’s soundtrack rise and fall in relation to the image.
Crooks is best known for his digital video and photographic works that capture and manipulate time and motion. The artist coined the term ‘time-slice’ to describe the series of works he has been developing since 1999, which includes Static No.12 (seek stillness in movement). To create the time-slice works, Crooks uses multiple cameras and a special digital editing technique, whereby small segments of moving images are selected, warped and recombined across the screen. The resulting imagery is fluid and undulating, a non-linear and multi-perspective view of movement and time.
Featuring seemingly banal environments, such as streetscapes, parks, elevators and commuter trains in his videos and photographs, Crooks transforms the everyday and takes us on a mesmerising journey into the time-space continuum. The works are visually reminiscent of the nineteenth-century photographic experiments by Etienne-Jules Marey, and the paintings by the Italian futurist Giacomo Balla. Crooks’ time-slice works capture an exquisitely detailed yet altered vision of reality, one that probes and unsettles the way we perceive and understand the world.