Taking pedestrian traffic as its subject and the urban environs of Sydney City as its location, Static No.25 (George Street, March 1, 2020) is a study in time and motion—part abstraction, part data graphic, and part anthropological film.

Daniel Crooks is a sculptor, photographer and time-based artist. He is best known for his digital video and photographic works that capture and alter time and motion. Describing his work as “looking at time from the side”, Crooks manipulates digital imagery as though it were a physical material, sculpting time, frame by frame. The resulting works expand our sense of temporality by manipulating digital ‘time slices’ that are normally imperceptible to the human eye.

In Static No.25 (George Street, March 1, 2020) Crooks takes the everyday familiarity of the street and expands our sense of perceptible time and motion; pedestrians in this work are made into imaginary, temporal objects composed of both time and matter. Sited in the public foyer of UTS Central, the video can be read on two levels: from inside the foyer in detail and from the street, at a distance. As the work echoes its location, moments of serendipity occur between the pedestrian movement depicted on screen and the movement of those walking past it in real time.

The work was filmed and produced between two periods of extreme environmental and social change: the 2019–20 Australian bushfire season and the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic. Accordingly, Crooks notes that the footage feels historic, as it captures citizens moving in, and recovering from, a period of environmental pollution and devastation and engaging in an everyday social activity – walking together in the city – that only weeks later, was no longer possible.

Static No.25 (George Street, March 1, 2020) plays at daily intervals between other commissions on the UTS Broadway Screen.