Past Future Split Attention

© Generali Foundation Collection—Permanent Loan to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg

Dan Graham

Past Future Split Attention, 1972

Documentation of the performance at Lisson Gallery, London Video, black and white, sound, 17 min 3 sec


Artwork text

This performance (at London’s Lisson Gallery) documents Graham’s project of psychologically restructuring space and time. Graham writes, “Two people who know each other are in the same space. While one continuously the other person’s behavior, the other person recounts (by memory) the other’s past behavior. Both performers are in the present, so knowledge of the past is needed to continuously deduce future behavior (in terms of causal relation). For one to see the other in terms of the present (attention), there is a mirror reflection or closed figure-eight feedback/feedahead loop of past/future. One person’s behavior reciprocally reflects/depends upon the other’s, so that each one’s information is seen as a reflection of the effect that their own behavior has had in reversed tense, as perceived from the other’s view of himself.” (SR-KA)