Wolfgang Staehle, a German-born digital artist now based in New York, is interested in the ideas of time and transformation. Two works featured at the NCMA take different approaches to these fundamental concepts.
In Eastpoint, Staehle presents viewers with a real-time transmission of still images of an awe-inspiring vista overlooking the Hudson River Valley in New York. The broadcasted image is updated every 10 seconds, and that delay, albeit brief, allows the viewer to ask questions concerning the nature of “now” and how even small transformations—in weather, season, or other elements—can affect our understanding of the present moment.
The Road takes the idea of time and makes tangible its epic proportions. Staehle’s projection shows an arrangement of 24 cards, with a new card loading into the animation every six seconds. The possible arrangements for these 24 cards are almost unfathomable: 1,686,553,615,927,922,354,187,720 variations. As the artist notes, “To put it in perspective: if every person on earth (some 7 billion) would do one combination every second, it would still take around 8 million years to lay down all possible combinations. One could say the duration of the piece approaches eternity.”
Organized by the North Carolina Museum of Art. This exhibition is made possible, in part, by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc.; and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment for Educational Exhibitions. Research for this exhibition was made possible by Ann and Jim Goodnight/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fund for Curatorial and Conservation Research and Travel.