20 Ames Street Building E15
Cambridge, MA 02139
John Latham, Erth (1971), 16mm, (25 min)
The launch of the first Soviet Sputnik of October 1957 to the American moon landing of July 1969 generated numerous photographic depictions of earth as seen from space. John Latham was fascinated by these images because they provided the perspective that he felt was necessary to perceive our temporary habitation of the planet in relation to what he called the ‘whole event’, the Universe. Utilizing still photos of the earth, spoken commentary providing a countdown of the age of the universe, and single frame shots of every page of a volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica Latham creates a visual countdown of the age of the universe, through time and space, to the surface of the earth.
John Latham, Ants and Locusts (1970), video, (3 minutes)
As part of a solo show at Lisson Gallery in 1970, called Least event/one second drawings/blind work/24 second painting, John Latham staged a number of offsite events which he described as follows in the catalogue: “During the third week of the exhibition the gallery will be at places other than Bell Street, for short periods, probably not much more than a minute at any place, and the show there will be recorded on video or film.” In the end, three of these were filmed. Ants and Locusts was shot at the Insect House in Regents Park on 24 November 1970.
Terry Fox, The Children’s Tapes (1974), DVD, (30 min)
In a classic early video work, Terry Fox constructs a series of elementary experiments that illustrate fundamental principles of physical science: A piece of fruit is placed under a tin lid held up by a single match, as an unsuspecting fly approaches the bait; a spoon, balanced on a fork, holds a piece of ice until the melting water topples it; a candle in a pan of water is extinguished when a pot is placed over it.
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