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The Kid Should See This

Painting and erasing a clock in real-time

A man paints and erases two clock hands minute by minute as time ticks by. Is that a real person seen within the clock’s translucent face? How does he stay on time? Does he take a break?

Filmed and played across 12 hours to indicate the time, Schiphol Clock is a real-time video installation by Dutch designer Maarten Baas, a 2016 project from his Real-Time performance series. Around 3 meters (10-ish feet) tall and found in Lounge 2 at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, the piece is based on Baas’ Grandfather Clocks from 2009. Here’s another real-time video:

The man’s blue overalls, yellow rag and red bucket pay a subtle homage to Dutch painter Piet Mondrian and Dutch furniture designer and architect Gerrit Rietveld. A close-up of the piece from the artist:


Plus, see the real-time piece sped up and set to music:

Baas has explored other clock ideas. Here’s just under two minutes of Grandfather Clocks or Self Portrait Clock (2009), presumably at midnight of a new year, complete with celebratory confetti and champagne.

Also from the series: Analog Digital Clock, which is also an app.

And ten minutes of Sweeper’s Clock, two men sweeping trash for 12 hours.

Watch more clock videos and more videos about time, including 16:59 by Lernert & Sander, Ferrolic, a ferrofluid clock prototype, LEGO Rolling Ball Clock, Osaka Station City Waterfall Printer, Inside of New York City’s Sutton Clock Shop, and People in Order.

Bonus: A Briefer History of Time: How tech changes us in unexpected ways.

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