from pastelegram.org, June 2011 – April 2014
And the riddle was this—What is that which has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?
On hearing that, Oedipus found the solution, declaring that the riddle of the Sphinx referred to man; for as a babe he is four-footed, going on four limbs, as an adult he is two-footed, and as an old man he gets besides a third support in a staff. So the Sphinx threw herself from the citadel,1
Scott Eastwood’s Time Zone—the central project of Eastwood’s eponymous online issue—is an animated gif composed of photographs showing Eastwood’s head emerging from the center of a boxed sculpture.
Turning a sculpture into a gif means that Time Zone vibrates between its flatness and its representation of depth. Eastwood began by building three sculptures, each a painted box whose frame sits flat at the point closest to the viewer with four planes angling inwards to the hole where Eastwood’s head appears.
The sculptures’ transition to animated photographs flattens their depth so that one sees the image as both flat and three-dimensional at the same time. Almost RGB, the edges of each band are crisp and hyperreal. Yet the original sculptural surface is textured, with shadows and highlights coming from slight bends in the cardboard. Then again, even as those bends indicate depth, once set to an animated flicker they become flat patterning at the same time. Like the bands they are another set of stripes moving across the final computer image’s surface.
Adjusting his hair, beard and facial expression, Eastwood put his head through the box’s hole to create a series of self-portraits representing various stages of life: baby, kid, teenager, adult, old man and dead, with two images each. The self-portraits loop from baby to dead then from dead to baby and back again, infinitely until you leave the webpage. Going baby kid teen adult old man dead dead old man adult teen kid baby baby kid teen adult old man … Baby and dead beat twice, a slight hiccup in the otherwise smooth rhythm of the gif.
Here, what we tend to think of as a straight chronology—we are born, we get older, we die—is a recursive loop. But even that is difficult to perceive in Eastwood's gif. The portraits switch into each other quickly and the radiating animated bands of pink, blue and green—so bright, almost neon—blur our perception of Eastwood’s represented life periods further. Time Zone, and the videos, music and texts of Eastwood’s online issue for Pastelegram concern the complexity of perceiving life time, the ways in which the events and periods of one’s life shift and blear as one moves through the years.
I wanted to make pictures that contradicted themselves. I wanted to put one picture on top of another so that there were times when both pictures disappear and other times when they were both manifest. That vibration is basically what the work was about for me—that space in the middle where there is no picture, rather an emptiness, an oblivion.2
This article is part of "Time Zone,” by Scott Eastwood. Other parts of this project include:
Time Zone by Scott Eastwood
Time Crimes: A conversation between Scott Eastwood and Dayve Hawk
Passed Lives Minimix, a mixtape by Dayve Hawk
Borderland, a video by Air Jordan (Scott Eastwood) and Drew Liverman
Have I Done Wrong? by Andrew Bourne
and our editor’s statement