THE TIME I
Traditionally a clock is an ornament, elegantly reflecting the owner’s taste. The Time is Ticking tells a different story: a golden pedestal reminds us of a glorious past, whilst wormholes show the decay of its wooden case. A real beetle – not the usual miniature brass eagle, globe or unicorn – crowns the top. In our version, nature itself is teaching us to embrace a different and more honest approach to beauty. The bugs must be kept isolated, hence the bell jar and a remote winding mechanism hidden in the pedestal.
We humans are perishable, mortal beings, our skin will wrinkle, we shrink, and eventually our body breaks itself down. Eventually future generations will not remember of our existence as individuals. This is exactly what will happen to this design.
We researched how many woodworms it would take to devour the wooden casing in more or less eighty years (which reflects the average life expectancy of an owner). When the timepiece drops from the demolished casing, it causes the connection to the winding mechanism to break and stops the clock. In this work, popular advertising claims like ‘this product will last you a lifetime’ are juxtaposed to the biblical aphorism ‘Vanity of vanities! All is vanity’, which points to the shallowness of things that are not what they seem, and do not perform what they promise. The concept of vanitas was often depicted in 17th century still-lives, showing skulls, withering flowers, soap bubbles, overturned glasses, decayed books and clocks.
Our timepiece will eventually tell its own history. Each time the clock is wound, the user data is recorded via a mechanical timeline. The information about time and date of usage will be stored so that the object can, after let’s say 200 years, share its knowledge with his new owner and thereby keeping its history alive.