Time and Art: Connection in Disconnection

March 2021 has brought a new dimension to the art world by seeing Beeple sell his incredible piece Everydays: The First 5000 Days, developed over time in auction digitally at Christie’s Auction House. Connecting the digital world with the art world is an entirely new way of making and selling art in the 21st century.

By Beeple

Digital work online is exciting, but I still miss the real experience. It’s been twelve weeks since I last set foot in a gallery. Twelve weeks since I was up close to a painting, staring at the fine detail whilst appreciating the comforting silence that accompanies me on my visit around the gallery. In the weeks since art spaces and other places of mindfulness have closed, I find myself, like many others, looking more at a screen for that creative fix; thinking to myself as I turn on the TV or open my laptop – ‘what art documentaries are there? Is there anything new on about artists I like? What day is Grayson’s Art Club on?’ Ever since these lockdowns began and places shut, I can’t seem to switch off that part of my brain that constantly craves information. My desire to connect to an industry that is now more frequently online shows that although there is a temporary disconnection to real life art spaces, it’s with thanks to the virtual realm that we can still remain connected and informed.

By Yoko Ono

I’ve written a short spoken word about connection and disconnection:

Time and Art: time makes art, artists take time.
Connection through art, artist disconnects from time to connect with art. 
Virtual connection to art, disconnect from reality.
Disconnect from Time, Connect with Art.
and so on … 

By Marina Abramovic

Time based artists!

Here are four artists who use performance in their practice and links to famous exhibition pieces:

Marina Abramovic

Yoko Ono

Laurie Anderson 

Carolee Schneemann

From Beeple’s 5000 days creating a digital piece of work to Marina Abramovic capturing a live audience with her powerful presence, the connection between the viewer, the artist, and their work is always present. Time-based art through performance and photography captures a moment and makes it permanent; our connection to these pieces still make them relevant and are referenced in other forms of creativity. Although we are disconnected from seeing artists work in a real-life environment, we aren’t entirely disconnected; we have digital platforms to gain knowledge and understanding, which will keep us going for when we can walk through those gallery doors again in the near future. 

Rosalind Main, Visual Artwork Editor