Zeroing In

Nancy Holt
Video, black-and-white, sound
Duration: 31 minutes, 15 seconds

Joined by Ted Castle, Holt explores the urban landscape of New York City through the apertures of a prop held in front of the camera. Holt moves the prop to reveal different sections in turn, while she and Castle discuss their visual and cognitive perceptions.They attempt to suspend identification of what they see, struggling against the instinctual urge to categorize and label. As objects are alternately obscured and identified, disoriented and located, a rich dialogue emerges on ideas of viewership, identity, cognition and experience.


Scholarly Text

Nancy Holt: Zeroing In

Sarah Hayden

Nancy Holt strove to provoke the “concretisation of perception” by isolating “limited visions through holes and things” that would cause people to “really focus, really perceive intensely the thing seen.”1  Holt’s 1973 video Zeroing In is a conversation, a game, and an experiment. It is also a live, instructional demonstration by Holt of the artful means and elemental technologies by which her work intervenes upon and enlivens everyday acts of visual perception.

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