• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • pinterest
  • Tumblr
  • Flickr
  • Youtube
  • eNews

John Tonkin

John Tonkin, time and motion study v2 2008 (1)

John Tonkin
time and motion study v2 2008 (screen capture)
Image courtesy: The artist

John Tonkin, time and motion study v2 2008 (2)

John Tonkin
time and motion study v2 2008 (screen capture)
Image courtesy: The artist

John Tonkin

b.1963, Adelaide
Lives and works in Sydney

time and motion study v2 is an interactive work that draws upon pre-cinematic studies of motion. These studies captured short but continuous movement through the use of multiple photographs. In Tonkin’s work, the viewer is captured repeatedly through a series of digital stills when moving in front of the camera. The images are sliced wafer thin almost to translucency and layered one over another, combining to create an ethereal manifestation of the image. Using a multi-direction mouse, the viewer is able to navigate their own personal and unique visual timescape — allowing them to glide into and along the kaleidoscope of semi-transparent apparitions in a style reminiscent of flip-book animations. The second screen accesses a database of images captured over the course of the exhibition — enabling vistors to navigate through a constantly evolving representation of all who have participated in the work. The final pair of screens randomly selects stills from this database.

While beautiful in its aesthetic and lyrical in navigation, the key to Tonkin’s time and motion study v2 is its ability to acknowledge the presence of a viewer and draw them into spontaneous interaction. A tour de force of programming ability, the work is both an engaging and effective exploration of self and time.

John Tonkin has been involved in the field of new media art since the mid 1980s. He has worked across a wide range of media technologies and is currently producing interactive works using 3-D animation and data-mapping technologies. Tonkin has held numerous solo exhibitions including at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne; Artspace, Sydney; Sherman Galleries, Sydney; and the Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide. His work has been included in major group exhibitions internationally including at Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh, United States; the International Symposium on Electronic Art, San Jose, United States; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, Taiwan; the Pompidou Centre, Paris; the Seoul Museum of Art, South Korea; the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra; and the Queensland Art Gallery.