Hiroshi Sugimoto is a photographer who has explored the use of long timeframes, using the camera’s bulb mode, to record ‘films’ and the observance of films in New York’s film theatres.
What results from his recordings, of a single image for anything up to 3 hours when developed is none of the film being available for a viewer o the image to see but just a bright white screen, none of the moviegoers and the interior of the theatre.
The bright white of the screen is recorded as such due to its emittance of light, of varying degrees of intensity, during the film. The theatre’s interior is lit by the light that is reflected by the surfaces of the walls and fittings.
Sugimoto describes the bright white light as appearing as a white rectangular box because there is, “too much information” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-jLUSa1MA0] and that too much information is, “nothingness” (ibid).
He further describes our “need to have something surrounding the nothingness”, which in this instance is the movie theatre.
Sugimoto’s work with the light emitted by moving images over a duration of time can be looked at as an analogy to the need for recording a tonal range in a still image.
It can also be interpreted as a philosophical comment as to purpose. If no viewers will view a work, be it a still image (or series) or moving images then are they effectively ‘nothingness’?
References https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-jLUSa1MA0 [Last accessed 01/07/2016]