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Video installation of dolphins, diver projected across multiple walls of room
© 2005 Diana Thater

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  • Video installation of dolphins, diver projected across multiple walls of room




Diana Thater
American, born 1962

About this artwork

Widely recognized as a pioneer of video art as installation, California-based artist Diana Thater is best known for work featuring images of animals such as bees, horses, and wolves. In Delphine, which takes as its primary subject wild dolphins interacting with humans, the artist worked for the very first time with untrained animals in their natural habitat. Complex spatial thinking is key to Thater’s projects; she understands installation art as a dialogue between sculpture and architecture. Projected on a large scale—onto entire ceilings, walls, and floors—her work thoroughly transforms the physical realities of the spaces it inhabits. This generic and spatial fluidity blurs conventional boundaries between the work and the viewer. The artist also insists on revealing how her images are made. Shot in both digital video and film, Delphine was edited without regard for separating the different media. Clarity and grain flow together as the immediacy and flatness of video gives way to the depth of film. These self-conscious production methods are mirrored by Thater’s particular aesthetic of presentation: she always leaves her equipment in full view inside the installation. This transparent approach, the artist insisted, “does not, as some people might have us believe, preclude transcendence. This is ultimately my point—that neither magic nor superficial beauty is required to approach the sublime.”


Currently Off View


Contemporary Art


Diana Thater




United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1999


Five-channel digital color video with sound (projection), nine-monitor cube, light filters, and existing architecture


Artist's proof, from an edition of 3


Continuous loop

Credit Line

Donna and Howard Stone New Media Fund

Reference Number



© 2005 Diana Thater

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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