Recorded sound's ability to act as both a bridge and divide between filmed and viewed spaces is evident in “Running Time”. A relentlessly dramatic film score highlights the drama of a figure trying to outrun an unseen assailant, but it soon becomes obvious he is alone and that the music is an element of a film world that he is attempting to escape. When this music (along with the spinning landscape) grinds to a halt the man easily escapes the frame, yet is unable to break free from the film world’s orbit, his disembodied footsteps can be heard running around the viewer who sits within an implied circle created by the curved screen.
This shift from dramatic soundtrack to aimless footsteps opens up an alternative and absurd space within which the runner seems like a ghost circling a void opened by the removal of a storyline.
No longer the subject of the film, he has become subject to it. The low-resolution of this footage (badly copied from a DVD) creates the sense of a fleeting, shifting world, a dizzying telescoping and warping of eras and technologies of which viewers catch only glimpses or impressions, but never a complete picture.