So let's jump to the quick: The most attractive, visually arresting piece here is "Dervish 12," Jennifer Steinkamp's video-projection installation. Her dervish is simply the image of a computer-created tree twirling in place on the gallery wall. From a distance, it appears to be an especially elastic and fluid head of broccoli. The creation is clearly synthetic, but it captures the sway and shift of a tree whose limbs are moved by the wind. Museum visitors have been impressed, scribbling with apparent excitement into the gallery's comment book, "The tree is the best" and "Very cool." Gaze long enough, and the piece progresses through the four seasons that the tree endures, inviting viewers to contemplate the cycles of their own lives. The piece asserts that existence is beautiful, if transient and brief.
In the other video work on display, Colby Caldwell presents mysterious, provocative renderings of what appear to be someone's memories caught on film. In "Nature's Way," a little over five minutes of Super 8-ish footage shows a muddy, puddle-filled landscape, with a man walking in the distance and a dog running. The viewer creates the plot simply by wondering whether the slow-moving guy will eventually come face to face with the camera. He does, only to smile and speak inaudibly (there's no audio in Caldwell's films); after five minutes of waiting, it's a little anticlimactic even if that's the point.
Caldwell uses similar elements a single, talking but silent figure set in a rural scene, closely observed in his other video piece, "Ever Present [Everywhere]." Here, a woman assumes a static position inside a room, but as she moves, she appears to be singing. As in the other work, slow movement allows Caldwell's subject to progress from the anonymous to the personal.
Rei Naito's graceful and delicate pieces may be the ones that most require the viewer to stop and focus. Many gallerygoers seem simply to pass by "Grace," a single loop of thread joining two walls. Another "Grace" is a single piece of rope hanging down to the floor, its length determined specifically for this gallery.
Other pieces seem a little out of place or time. At least conceptually, Naito's works could be torn from the 1960s. In "Return the Secrets to the World," two tiny (3/8-inch) mirrors are attached to opposing walls, their purpose unclear. Same goes for "Namenlos/Licht" in which color is supposed to appear near a display of white paper but it never does. Perhaps Dunbar is hoping that we'll spend half an hour contemplating the line between the mysterious and the pointless.
In fact, it's not always clear how each piece deals with the deceleration of time. Yoshihiro Suda's "Rose," constructed entirely of wood, is one example. It realistically droops from the top of a tall, white wall, the wall serving as a sort of canvas. It's interesting, but only the name suggests how it might be tied to Dunbar's theme maybe it's a twist on "stop and smell the roses."
Elsewhere, Michelle Segre's "Swamp Eyes" is a complicated confusion of tiny details in red and blue pencil on paper eyes, gnomes, stairs and skulls hide within the lines of these psychedelic illustrations. Likewise, Jacob El Hanini's pieces are extremely labor-intensive and time-consuming efforts. Both artists' works could be admired for this alone. But doesn't most successful art take time to create?
In short: Go to the gallery to see the tree dervish. Then just stay longer.