The flash video here is based on a screensaver that Formanek has made available which synchronises that video to your system clock, making it appear that you're watching the clock as it's being built. It's a clever idea with great execution and the effect is interesting enough that a number of galleries have put screens with the time-synced video on display.
Formanek has since staged a few live re-enactments of this clock being built, though I'm not sure if any others have gone for the full 24 hours.
There's more info, including videos demonstrating how it was done, at the official site: http://www.standard-time.com/
I will never understand people that appreciate this kind of art. Call me classical, but I really don't see watching a clock interesting.
Someone at the Boston MFA made a 24 hr movie where they compile different bits of film that includes a clock into a real time clock (so if it was 10:23 it would show 10:23 in a bit of the clip). It was interesting until you realize that besides being a neat art project, it's really difficult to understand.
Unlike pre-compiled footage that can just be made 24 hours long, this was done in real-time with the workers forced to match the demands of the clock without the opportunity to pause during their shifts.
Because of its real-time nature when you view the video synced to your local time you can't help but become somewhat invested in the success of the workers as they struggle to keep up with time and come very close to failing during some transitions. There's tension generated by the fact that you never know whether they'll make the next minute.
Then there's the realisation you get after having watched this for a while that it's really all pointless, that you have become personally invested in the actions of a bunch of workers struggling to keep up with re-creating one of the most basic solved problems of the modern world: A clock. It takes 70 workers working all out to do what a cheap watch can do effortlessly.
I suppose that if it succeeds in getting most viewers to think a bit about the nature of work, time and labour then it achieved its intended purpose.
This is at least novel and at the end of it you have a clock.
What gk1 said.
The basic level for me is that watching them run around is kinda compelling. I once worked out of a high office building across the street from a building being disassembled and then replaced, and I lost hours watching the people at work.
There's also a series of deadlines; watching them speed up and slow down is neat. Very human. Will they make it? How about next minute? A friend who's an improv performer (and Google engineer) sometimes does this thing at his shows called "the oxygen game". Three people improvise a scene, but only two are interacting at once. The third one has their head in a bucket of water until the other two find a narrative reason to bring them back in, at which point somebody else's head goes under. The audience loves this human struggle against time.
There's also an element of expectations violated. Clocks are usually utterly boring, especially digital ones like he's aping. Which is why a lot of people create interesting clocks. E.g.: http://www.stuartsinger.com/ballclock.htm http://longnow.org/clock/
Then when watching it, it's really interesting to think about the labor. These are real people, in effect dancing for our pleasure. But they're not professional dancers. They're just construction workers, making another thing for somebody else. How do they feel about that? Do they feel the same way about a lot of the stuff they get hired to build? Are there other things that they build that are ultimately just as pointless, just as rooted in entertainment for the funder?
Then I wonder how far you could take this. What if I put up a webcam in Times Square and had a big mechanical clock where people had to supply the labor. Say by cranking a wheel once a minute. Would people participate? How would they feel? Would the clock ever miss a minute? Would it miss an hour or a day?
So for me, art like this combines an interesting idea with something that engages the senses (and sometimes the emotions) long enough for me to think about the idea and related themes. Nothing new, really: Cathedrals weren't just built to be pretty; they were there to get you think about the builder's god(s).
i.e. that people pretend to get it, but really, there's nothing there. And what they don't understand is why pretend?
It takes some breathtaking arrogance to think that a good chunk of educated and intelligent people are indulging in pretending to 'get something'.
Just Die *What someone says*
End the Endless Breath with Death *What an author says*
Endless Breath Ended *What a poet says*
I feel the same in reverse. I'm very often left completely cold by art that is about well executed craftsmanship, such as painting, photography or sculpture but lean towards pieces like this which, to my mind, are about prompting the viewer to ask questions.
That's the kicker with 'art' it's about what the person experiencing it takes from it, and those reactions are as varied as people are. Anything is art if at least one person other than the creator reacts to it.
Of course, it's valid to say that it doesn't work for you, or even that it can't work for anyone, because it's plain stupid. Like so many garbage art out there.
Well, we have definitely gone beyond "classical" art for a LOOONG time now... the times when art was just "pretty" and "classical" is long gone - you find this "pretty" and aiming at the audience more in contemporary pop now, and the "artsy" artists do things like this clock and in my own understanding, an important factor definitely is experimenting and playing with our understanding of "what is art". Because when it comes down to it, there aren't THAT many borders or taboos to cross anymore nowadays so "what is art" is definitely an evergreen, if you will.
I am not saying you have to like it but maybe when seen from this angle, you can find it easier to appreciate the effort. Oh and by saying "I don't get it" or "I don't like it" or "this is crap" you have already contributed something - if you were to say "I don't like it and it is crap BECAUSE....." then you would have even contributed something of greater value. It's all (or rather it's a lot) about how it makes you feel and what you think and the ensuing discussion, really.
66*24 + 24 + 3 = 1611
I personally consider it to be 1440 transitions with some transitions involving multiple digits (and hence harder to do) but arguments can be made for both ways of counting.
...wait, how did I get so invested in this?
It would be cool to have this in different timezones with corresponding backgrounds!
Absolutely brilliant. I couldn't find any background on it though - looks like a Czech project?
Download latest version from here
I do not have a flash player on my machine for more than 6 months. This is the first website I encountered that I cannot use at all.
You might need to change the parameters to sync it to your time.
EDIT: Actually, the lighting would be really difficult if it was a trick so I'm going to say it's real.
That's not to say that you couldn't do a split-frame thing like this, with a little bit of cleverness and planning. Even if it were only split around the middle, that's only 72 transitions to film, which isn't too bad.
The original(?) on http://esquire.ru/clock is working though.
I highly appreciate the vivid art and message behind this creative construction. We need more crazy people :)
Ya the location seems Czech Republic!! cuz the domain and the builds..i guess