According to the early twentieth-century sociologist George Simmel, modern life requires that individuals conceive of their lives as organized according to an “impersonal time schedule” that replaced the circadian rhythms and chronobiological processes of agriculture-based societies. This epochal shift was accompanied by the rise of cinema, arguably the time-based medium that is most synonymous with modernity. In the late twentieth century this shift was exacerbated by the advent of personal computing; as a result, screens (from the cinema to the iPad) have become the privileged site for social interactions. As philosoprer Paul Virilio noted, “The screen has become the city square,” replacing live assemblies of a personal, mercantile, juridical, and even religious nature. Created by teams of Oberlin College students, the five exhibitions in this virtual museum use objects from the permanent collection of the Allen Memorial Art Museum to explore how the “emergence of cinematic time,” as Mary Ann Doane described it, has affected our perception of the human condition.
(1) Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman, 1978; (2) Kiss the Girls: Make Them Cry, 1979; (3) Pop-Pop Video: General Hospital/Olympic Speed Skating, 1980; (4) Pop-Pop Video: Kojak/Wang, 1980.
Dana Birnbaum's work of video art uses repetition to reduce footage of the 1975 television program Wonder Woman to an audiovisual abstraction. The…