Jim Campbell

Digital Watch

Digital Watch(1991) is an interactive video installation that allows the viewer to go back and forth between a real time world and a delayed and discrete time world. A magnified real time clock movement controls the motion of the viewers when their image is seen inside the face of the watch, but outside the face of the watch the motion is live like a mirror.

The installation consists of a camera pointing at a functioning wind-up pocket watch, a second camera pointing at the viewers and a large 60" diagonal video screen. The image on the screen is a close up of the pocket watch mixed with the live image as follows:

If the viewers see themselves outside the area of the watch their image is live, but if they move so that their position is superimposed with the image of the watch, then their image is seen in discrete time 1 second intervals with the new images occurring in sync with the beat of the second hand on the watch. These discrete images are also delayed by 5 seconds. As a consequence of this delay, the viewers feel as though they no longer have control over the movement their bodies.

60" rear projection video monitor, wind up pocket watch, 2 b&w video cameras and custom made electronics.

Jim Campbell was born in Chicago in 1956 and now lives in San Francisco. He received 2 Bachelor of Science Degrees in Mathematics and Engineering. He has shown internationally and throughout North America in institutions such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Carpenter Center, Harvard University; The Power Plant, Toronto; and the International Center for Photography, New York.
His work is included in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the University Art Museum at Berkeley; and that of Don Fisher of the Gap Corporation. In 1992 he created one of the first permanent public interactive video artworks in the U.S. in Phoenix, Arizona. He has lectured on interactive media art at many Institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art in NY.