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Swimmer

1975
20th century

Bill Lundberg (Albany, California, 1942 - ) Primary

Object Type: time based media
Artist Nationality: North America, American
Medium and Support: Film installation
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Purchase through the generosity of John A. Robertson in memory of Carlota S. Smith, 2008
Accession Number: 2008.11

A painter by training, William Lundberg helped pioneer the art of film installation in the 1970s by projecting simulated images into actual spaces. Playing with cognitive expectations, he raises questions about the psychology of looking. For Swimmer Lundberg had scaffolding built over a residential swimming pool from which he filmed a man elegantly cutting back and forth. When projected in the gallery, the work disrupts the space by implying the pool’s configuration sliced into the floor. The illusion is further heightened by the film’s soundtrack of splashes, which overflows into adjacent exhibition spaces. With this and other works, Lundberg capitalizes on film’s sensory potential. Sound is as integral to Swimmer as are the visual components. The piece is presented within a darkened room, which sharpens the viewer’s experience of the recorded stimuli—the water and the movements of its traverser—while diminishing awareness of the gallery itself. An emeritus professor of transmedia at the University of Texas at Austin, Lundberg recently retired with his wife, artist Regina Vater, to her native Brazil.

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