Michael Sacca: flow-MOTION

March 19 - June 13, 2016

Water is the most abundant and vital substance on Earth. An ocean or waterway becalmed is an oasis of contemplation; astir it can inspire awe or terror. Videographer and photographer Michael Sacca’s flow-MOTION immerses the viewer in a mesmerizing installation of water images.

Sacca’s photographs freeze the motion of water, allowing us to contemplate its seen and unseen dynamics. We sense the surface tension of still waters as well as the winds and tides activating motion across and beneath surfaces. His video adds time to the water’s motion. Waves undulate and the camera pans across the moving water. Watching the video, a viewer may feel an almost bodily sense of motion. Did the artist then manipulate time in the editing process?

Deftly balancing the clarity of great documentary photography with distinctive artistic expression, Sacca’s images possess their own internal, pictorial logic and materiality. The individual prints are beautiful abstractions, while their totality offers a portrait of water in motion, a visual poem in which time and motion appear more fractured than we expect.

— Mara Williams, Chief Curator

I draw inspiration from the apparently random and chaotic aspects of the natural world, especially where pattern, color, and form create tension. While making forays into varied ecosystems, I am always on the watch for that tension and those moments allowing interpretation of time and space.

After being around the ocean since I was very young, I began surfing when I was ten years old and my body began developing a “wave sense.” flow-MOTION comes out of my work recording time variations. It captures a number of relativistic “events” within the frame by moving the camera during long exposures. Most of the images were made from spring 2013 through January 2016.

I am drawn to low light, motion, and chance movements, and the camera allows me to step out of a self-centered time frame and into other moving coordinate systems.

— Michael Sacca


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