The second half of the 2000s (is it too early to say that?) saw the rapid rise of online video (read a good summary here), and we’ve been actively experimenting here at MoMA. What started over three years ago as a small trial with myself, Zoe Jackson from the Marketing Department, a laptop, and a cheap miniDV camera has turned into a larger production—with a team drawn from MoMA’s Education, Marketing, Graphic Design, and Digital Media departments collaborating (in addition to all of our other day-to-day responsibilities). One of the most common types of videos we’ve produced are time-lapse videos of exhibition installations. Our first (shown above) was of Richard Serra’s sculptures being installed in the Sculpture Garden.
From a technical standpoint, the setup is pretty simple: an old PC laptop, an inexpensive piece of software to control a Canon still camera, a tripod, and a few power cords. It’s very easy to set up, move, or leave running overnight or over multiple days. The individual still images are then run through a QuickTime script or imported into Final Cut and compiled to create a kind of stop-motion film.