Bent Time and Other Films from the 1980’s

Bent Time (1983) is influenced by scientists who have noted that light rays curve at the outer edges of the universe leading them to theorize that time also bends. A one-point perspective visual path across the US beginning inside a linear accelerator – or atom-smashing device – and traveling to such high-energy locations as the home of an ancient sun calendar in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico; the site of Ohio Valley Mound cultures; the Golden Gate and Brooklyn Bridges; and beyond. Inspired by this idea, I used an extreme wide angle lens of 9mm and “one frame of film per foot of physical space” to simulate the concept of time bending. The soundtrack is “Rattlesnake Mountain”, an original score by Pauline Oliveros.

Pools (1981) made with Barbara Klutinis. Shot with an underwater camera exploring the swimming pools of the Hearst Castle, California.

Pond & Waterfall (1982), underwater exploration of verdant pond growth pulling the viewer into actually being the creature actively exploring.

Tourist (1984-5) and Parisian Blinds (1984) investigate the nature of spectator perception in an unfamiliar environment. Manipulating the movement of the film direction on the screen much like a camera shutter, Hammer questions the perceptual experience of mass tourism as the Beateau Mouche endlessly circles the Ile de la Cite.

Stone Circles (1983) a celebration of ancient pre-patriarchal standing stones, mounds, and circles including Stonehenge and Avesbury.

The website of visual artist and filmmaker Barbara Hammer. View clips, read synopses and information about the films, and purchase DVDs.