Monday, September 01, 2008

Time-Based Art (TBA) Festival

Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA)
September 4 - 14, 2008

Summary:

An international festival that takes its shirt off. Now in its sixth year, the Time-Based Art (TBA) Festival is a convergence of contemporary performance, dance, music, new media, and visual arts projects. The only festival of its kind in North America, it examines and celebrates every form of contemporary art.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will somebody please explain how this is time-based? Because it has a start and an end date? That's a cop-out.

I have never been able to get a straight answer: why is it called TBA?

Tamara said...

Well, about 20 minutes of google-surfing turned up the following definitions and explanations about the term "time-based art" or "time-based media":

"Time-based media is a term used to refer to works of art which are dependent on technology and have duration as a dimension. Artists make very specific decisions in their choice of media and the way in which their work is presented. Specific display equipment might be important because of a particular quality of sound or image it creates, or because the artist has made conceptual links between a particular item of equipment and the meaning of the work. Specific technology places a work at a particular point in history and may convey ideas about the spirit in which the work was made."

(From Wikipedia's page about the TBA Festival):
"The term Time Based Media (and Time Based Art) was first introduced by UK video art pioneer David Hall in 1972 through his writings in various publications including Studio International. He also established the first Time Based Media undergraduate course at the University for the Creative Arts, Kent, UK in 1972 (then Maidstone College of Art). Use of the term has since rapidly spread around the world, particularly among academics, to identify moving image and sound work by visual artists - a popular development arising only comparatively recently in the mid to late twentieth century."

"Any data that changes meaningfully with respect to time can be characterized as time-based media.
# A key characteristic of time-based media is that it requires timely delivery and processing.
# Once the flow of media data begins, there are strict timing deadlines that must be met, both in terms of receiving and presenting the data.
# For this reason, time-based media is often referred to as streaming media -- it is delivered in a steady stream that must be received and processed within a particular timeframe to produce acceptable results."

It's amazing what the internet can be used for, eh?

Anonymous said...

I bet if you talked to someone at PICA, anonymous, they would tell you why they call it the TBA festival and how it's time-based.

Anonymous said...

"Time-based art" sounds pretty straightforward to me. Art that engages time as an element of the work: film, performance, installation, etc.

Also found this online, "works which are dependent on time for the maturation or completion of the experience."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:34 here.

Tamara, quote #1 only explains what it is, not why it's time-based (and saying technology places it in a particular point in time is vague at best).

Quote #2, same thing: no why, only what.

Quote #3 is the closest, but looking at last year's line-up, only one or two fit that description.

Anonymous 1:26, I'm sure they could, but a private conversation doesn't help the discussion of why the name.

Anonymous 3:15, I totally agree that "Art that engages time as an element of the work: film, performance, installation, etc.", but the production history of TBA disagrees with you. For example: Laurie Anderson, Yubiwa Hotel and "Float" from '06, Liz Haley and The Suicide Kings from last year...

Maybe I'm just too literal, or maybe the old excuse of "well you just didn't get it" is applicable, but if it's a festival of time-based art, it kind of needs to abide by its name.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how Laurie Anderson, Yubiwa Hotel, Liz Haley, Float and Suicide Kings aren't performance and therefore time-based?

Anonymous said...

Um, yeah... Yubiwa Hotel, Laurie Anderson, Float, Suicide Kings are all performances or live art happenings so they would fall firmly within the "works which are dependent on time for the maturation or completion of the experience" explanation.

Anonymous said...

Um, yeah... Yubiwa Hotel, Laurie Anderson, Float, Suicide Kings are all performances or live art happenings so they would fall firmly within the "works which are dependent on time for the maturation or completion of the experience" explanation.

So then you would agree that any live performance, play, musical recital, movie, concert, puppet show, opera, or touring Broadway show would count as well.

So why the name? If most everything with a beginning and and end can fall under the header as I read your description, what makes TBA so special that it references time in its name?

Anonymous said...

I see it as a way to be more inclusive. In many ways we are still stuck on divisions between art forms, but terms like theatre, dance, film, and sculpture are less and less applicable in contemporary art.

"Time-based art" is another way of describing art that allows a larger scope but still makes a distinction...a different one not based on form or technique alone. It allows us to experience diverse and hybrid forms as part of a whole, in relation to one another. It's also a great way to bring disparate art communities together and facilitate personal experimentation.

For instance, I might not be someone who goes to "visual art" on a regular basis, but I may be more interested in the visual art programming at TBA, which may help me make a connection to that world and investigate it outside the festival.

It's also important to keep in mind that this IS a contemporary art festival, so while Phantom of the Opera may technically be time-based art, you wont see it at TBA. Just for the record though, the festival has had no shortage of musicals, puppet shows, movies, etc.

Ben Waterhouse said...

Because it's more pretentious that way. Calling it the "Contemporary Nonlinear Performance Art Festival" would be too straightforward.

F said...

I think calling it a nonlinear festival would be misleading. It isn't a festival that particularly focuses on the nonlinear -- Gatz, for example, was very linear. But yeah, maybe calling it the Contemporary Performance Art Festival would be more accurate/less pretentious -- though it would also be a really boring name for a festival. The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art prestents the Contemporary Performance Art Festival...?! Yikes.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the cynicism. Because an organization is using an obscure term to name their festival it's automatically pretentious?

It would be just as relevant to get outdone with the name Portland Center Stage. "Who do they think they are, the center of the Portland theatre universe?"

Discussing the idea behind the name, what it means, etc is a discussion worth having, but comments like yours, Ben, are just juvenile and mean-spirited.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous here.

I think calling it a nonlinear festival would be misleading

But Time-Based is not misleading? Really?

I don't understand the cynicism. Because an organization is using an obscure term to name their festival it's automatically pretentious?

But it's NOT an obscure term, it's two common English words tied together with a hyphen. My cynicism stems ENTIRELY from the fact that it's called time-based, with almost no evidence to back up why. A few pieces scattered throughout it's history fit the criteria (as I see it) does not a festival make.

If you went to a festival called Pork-Based Meals and everything there was beef, chicken or vegetarian, wouldn't you be a little cynical too?

I guess Tofurky is Meat-Based...

Anonymous said...

Does a theatre have to define what theatre is in order to call itself a theatre? Get over yourself.

As I recall there are several non-Shakespeare plays programmed into the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and no one is up in arms about that.

If only a few pieces curated into the festival fit YOUR definition of time-based art, who cares? It's not your festival. You can make a festival called animal-based art consisting solely of trained dogs if you want. It doesn't lack legitimacy because I complain that you didn't include trained polar bears.

Ben Waterhouse said...

Joking aside, the Time-Based title made a lot more sense before PICA added static visual arts back into the festival.

I really don't understand your objection to the name, though. Any art that has a beginning and an end is "time-based." Sure, it's a little silly as the name of a festival, but it's a more honestly descriptive title than Mark Russell's other festival, Under the Radar.

followspot said...

While this discussion is interesting, it would be wonderful if people who have seen some of the work during the festival would comment on the shows, etc., as well.

Anonymous said...

"Get over yourself": the art equivalent of "because I said so".

In light of Followspot's desire to move on, I'll just say that Ben nailed it by asking the question and then answering it:

I really don't understand your objection to the name, though. Any art that has a beginning and an end is "time-based."

Bingo!

I do like the idea of starting up "animal-based art consisting solely of trained dogs" because it WOULD be animal based. Even without polar bears.

I'm assuming the conclusion to all of this is: It's called TBA because that's what it's always been called and who are you to be a d!ck and question it? Stop being so literal, so non-art. Life is not all black and white.

Why do I have "Because the Bible Tells Me So" stuck in my head now?

Odd.

followspot said...

I am fine with the discussion as to the origin and meaning of "time-based art" to continue; however, I would be interested to get feed back regarding work people have seen.

followspot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
followspot said...

http://action.publicbroadcasting.net/
opb/posts/list/1569012.page

I have not had a chance to listen to this show but a friend of mine told me that guest AD Mark Russell discusses the relevance of the "time-based" art moniker.