TIMELINE 1 – The Temporality and Potential Endlessness of the Line


Waring Rago Studio still – painting sequence captured photographically, as stills, desktop printed and laid out in sequence next to OMPHALOS by Nicholas Gulig.

I have been thinking about the Line – all the things that a line is/can be/might be/represents – and in the manner of Sol LeWitt’s Sentences on Conceptual Art (as Jonathan has pointed my attention to in our first tutorial) have begun to generate my own sentences calling them LINES ON LINES. This to merge into my project PICTOPOIESIS (my own invented word) – a making, remaking and unfolding of the painting as poem. For further explication please see Labels for 2 Girls Gallery, at end of this post.

Technical preparations:

Preparing for the exhibition at 2 Girls Gallery I wanted to display a GIF animation comprising the Omphalos sequence pictured in the blog header. Initially, I thought that a GIF file format would display on a screen as part of a loop together with other artists works. However, I realised that a GIF is primarily a web-based format and normally requires a browser for it to display as an animation. As part of a loop with other video works, in possibly different formats, I thought this might present a problem for the curator or technician. The gallery display monitors and computer are Mac-based. In order to ensure that my artwork is displayable had to ensure a compatibility with whatever mode of display was used without necessitating a separate outfit. I know that Mac’s native video software is QuickTime. To convert a GIF to QuickTime presented a problem I had not foreseen. How to move gif directly into QT – I found this was not really possible (at least easily).

I decided to use Final Cut. Importing the GIF into Final Cut I would be able to produce a movie (.mov) file which would be totally compatible with a Mac. This I found had the added bonus of enabling me to create several iterations of the GIF animation resulting in a loop of the GIF which would have been exceedingly difficult to achieve otherwise if the animation has remained as a GIF. This is exactly what I wanted. So instead of the GIF potentially only displaying once for 30 seconds, I was able to create the loop display that I wanted without requiring special programming.

While I was carrying out the above, I also attempted to convert the video in Final Cut to MP4, perhaps the most widely used video format. I found the result totally unsatisfactory. The frame images presented highly pixelated and all detail compromised. I think this might be to do with the coding of the images – I would like to know the reason why.

In the same exhibition, I shall show a small painting, which is represented in the last frame of the Gif converted to QT movie.


OMPHALOS – ‘drowned to nothing and became’ (final line of poem by Nick Gulig)

The cycle of the painting was captured photographically in 62 frames. Below I include as preview an experimental (approx 30 seconds duration), 50 frame GIF generated  in Google photos. Will post the full version in a future post after the show has begun:


Text provided for labels for the exhibition are:

TIMELINE 1 – The Temporality and Potential Endlessness of the Line
Janet Waring Rago, 2017, 
gif (duration 31.5 seconds) 
This is the starting work in an exploration of the meaning of ‘line’: the expression of ‘line’ as a temporal process and living metaphor for the poetic idea of extension, liminality, and boundary. The animation discloses the hidden narrative of the painting as a series of fleeting glimpses that tells of the ephemeral story of a painting. Each image is a painting I have to leave behind in a continual progression. Each image nonetheless creates an imprint in my mind which is near forgotten and superseded by subsequent and equally temporary images. Only the final image remains, and it too is only part of a potentially endless line. Each one of the 62 frames corresponds to a line of the poem Omphalos by Nicholas Gulig in conversation with my work. This collaboration was curated and documented by Jeffrey Pethybridge at likestarlings.comThe painting OMPHALOS – drowned to nothing and became, accompanying this animation corresponds to the last line of the poem.
and for the small painting which I shall hang as close to the appropriate screen as possible:
OMPHALOS – drowned to nothing and became
Janet Waring Rago, 2016
Oil on aluminium, 25 x 25 cm
As part of a conversation between painter and poet, curated by Jeffrey Pethybridge at likestarlings.comNicholas Gulig wrote ‘Omphalos’ in response to a series of my paintings. This particular painting is, in turn, a response to that poem. It marks the endpoint of a potentially endless process. In the animation, TIMELINE 1 – The Temporality and Potential Endlessness of the Line,shown in this exhibition, I am exploring the meaning of ‘line’ as a temporal ‘object’. The animation discloses the hidden narrative of this painting as a series of fleeting glimpses that tells of the ephemeral story of a painting. Each image is a painting I have to leave behind. Each one of these nonetheless creates a brief imprint in my mind which is superseded by subsequent, equally temporary images. The final stage itself is only one in a potentially endless line.
Title from the last line of poem OMPHALOS by Nicholas Gulig – for full text go to 



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