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Bent Time

Barbara Hammer

USA, 1984
22 minutes, Colour, Opt.
Available formats: 16mm

Bent Time is a one point perspective visual path across the U.S. beginning inside a linear accelerator – or, atom-smashing device – and travelling to such high-energy locations as the home of an ancient sun calendar in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, the site of Ohio Valley Indian Mound cultures, the Golden Gate and Brooklyn Bridges, and beyond. Scientists have noted that light rays curve at the outer edges of the universe, leading them to theorize that time also bends. Inspired by this idea, Hammer used an extreme wide angle lens and “one frame of film per foot of physical space” to simulate the concept of bent time. The film is accompanied by noted composer Pauline Oliveros’ original score for voice and accordian, ‘Rattlesnake Mountain’.