Tim Webster

Wonderlands: Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a 22 minute, High Definition, single channel video work that examines our memory of experience and our experience of memory. It depicts a fractured view of the iconic Incan city and is part of a series of works that uses the Wonders of the World as its subject. Filmed from the same elevated location chosen by millions of tourists, the work records the slow environmental shifts in the landscape through a layered cluster of postcard shaped vignettes. Each layer is a minute long loop depicting a different level of detail from the scene before being recomposed to form a much larger image. This highly fragmented, “folded time” view of Machu Picchu denies the possibility of a singular “faithful” image since the composition is made up of numerous hours and multiple viewpoints, not one photographic moment in time. The multiple images approximate the physiology of human vision itself as we don’t see the world as a seamless panorama, but instead, we continually resolve the persistent onslaught of stimuli that have evoked our attention. For Machu Picchu it is the temporal and spatial interruption between each viewpoint that do not let our senses rest. And it is this rupture that invites a subjective response from the viewer – they are not simply consuming another representation of major tourist site, but are creating their own experience of the work. For many travellers, the desire to photograph a destination such as Machu Picchu is to offer proof of having been there. While this work is in many ways a reaction to the mass mediation of this kind of representation, it also revels in Machu Picchu’s global notoriety as a tourist destination. But unlike the imagery of travel brochures that present a destination as an endpoint, the layering of the work creates something that is not stable. We are reminded of impermanence, that everything is moving, even in moments of apparent stillness.

Tim Webster’s video and installation works have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in festivals and galleries throughout Melbourne including Blindside Gallery, Bus Projects, Kings Gallery and Seventh Gallery. In addition, he is the recipient of a number of commissions and grants from both public and private bodies. He has received support from Federation Square, Footscray Community Arts Centre, The City of Melbourne and Arts Victoria. Tim Webster was born in Townsville, Australia in 1978. He received his Bachelor or Media Arts (Honours) from Deakin University in Melbourne.