This and That: Jonathan Schipper & The Titanic

by Glasstire April 4, 2017

“This and That” is an occasional series of paired observations. -Ed.

Today: Disaster Time

Last fall, the artist Jonathan Schipper made Cubicle, an installation at Rice Gallery of a nondescript office slowly collapsing onto itself. Schipper has done similar things with muscle cars crashing in super-slow motion and fusty living rooms slowly being sucked into a singularity.

San Antonio-based Walley Films created a short documentary about the show at Rice. At 2:50, you can see a time lapse of part of the movement, which actually occurred over a period of several months.

“Right or wrong, it’s very pleasant to break something from time to time.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky


In this strangely riveting video, we watch the Titanic sink in real time (tastefully — we don’t see the people, although we hear their shouts and screams).

As much as people enjoy time lapse video (where something that happens over a long period is sped up, like the construction of a skyscraper or the Schipper collapse), it’s equally if not more mesmerizing to watch Titanic slowly sink over the course of a nearly three hours.

These videos succeed through the pleasure of rubbernecking, the terrible fascination with inevitable horror, and the meditative state of mind of a stoned person watching a lava lamp, or Bob Ross.



No matter how original, innovative or crazy your idea, someone else is also working on that idea. Furthermore, they are using notation very similar to yours. – Bruce J. MacLennan


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