Abstract- Slow time in contemporary media arts (Canada)

Slow time is one of contemporary art's most persistent (although under-studied) modus operandi. It has been especially pivotal to the development of video art. In the 1970s, Nam June Paik claimed that video is essentially time (a time with no space) and that this temporality initially produced a problematic form of boredom. This paper will examine Bill Viola's Passions series (2000-2001) to investigate how the making of time-not so much the consideration of time as a material in art than its exploration in terms of extendedness, delay, duration, banality, and non-productivity-affects the spectator's viewing experience and how it questions the opticality of the image. The hypothesis situates Viola's aesthetics of slowness in the evolving context of perception and affective sciences (cognitive sciences, communications, neurobiology), with the understanding that perception and affect explored in new media cannot be adequately assessed without considering the main discourses that are now defining, mapping, measuring, and constructing perception these mental/embodied processes. This contextualization is fundamentally a dynamic one, enabling both a historical (interdisciplinary) investigation of perception & affect and a comparative study between art and scientific disciplines.