This practice-led research involves working between differing material demands of painting and moving image. Through a method that involves working intuitively with materials as modalities, my aim is to manipulate the experience of time to register passive vitalism with the viewer. This research is informed by Gilles Deleuze’s concepts of “time-images” in Cinema 2: the time-image (1989) and “vital life force as creative differentiation” in Bergsonism (1966). The concept of time as duration is linked to an understanding of vitalism framed through Claire Colebrook’s concept of “passive vitalism.” In Deleuze and the Meaning of Life (2010), Colebrook elaborates on the potential of passive forms of thought, by expanding on the differences between passive and active vitalism outlined in Deleuze and Guattari’s What is Philosophy? (1999). I develop the concept of passive vitalism through my own studio work as well as my investigations into the work of artists such as Chantal Akerman. I draw on Akerman’s methodology involving duration to develop my understanding of contemporary painters such as Nicola Smith and Milli Jannides, and vitality in the work of Kate Newby. Through discussion of different artworks, I explore how vital life force – as the interplay of virtual and actual – can manifest as temporal complexity that opens up through the operations of the trace, as registered materially. By elaborating on the concept of passive vitalism in relation to contemporary practices, I show the potential of materials as modalities that can be open to difference.