Theoretically, physicists say time started in our universe with the Big Bang. Time is an element of our life, a constant variable within the equations we use every day. We tick off the hours, minutes, days and choose how we want to spend time, make time, waste time and gain time. The subject of time is an elusive one and the more you try to wrap your brain around it, the harder it tries to escape and confuse.
A few years ago, I acquired approximately 3,000 clock hands from a man in Lombard, IL who had recently purchased a clock factory and was cleaning out the old inventory. His posting on Craigslist had me intrigued and my mind fluttered with the artistic possibilities of the clock hands and their sheer quantity. With the trusty freedom van and a close friend who understood my excitement, I rushed out to a suburb I didn’t even know existed and took the neatly packed boxes home. To my amazement, there were long elegant red ones, heavy matte black short ones and many in between. I set out to start experimenting with these in my dining room using the chandelier as a support. It quickly turned into an experiment beyond my control and needed its own space.
On November 5th - 7th, 2010, this sculptural experiment was able to realize its next phase and space was secured at the Chicago Art Department gallery for two days to see where it would go. Coincidentally, that weekend happened to be daylight savings time. In preparation for this next phase, there was much discussion generated with my partner about the nature of time. These clock hands were not even attached to clocks, nor had known the joy of assisting people in telling time, yet they evoked artistic and scientific discussion and wonder.
It never ceases to amaze me how interaction with an object and its meaning, symbolically or literally, creates a dialogue when processed into sculptural form and that context creates further dialog with the audience.
The slideshow below is of various phases that the clock hands went through as they became a site-specific sculptural installation called Time. Over that weekend, my interaction working with the clock hands unintentionally began to mimic the Big Bang. Documentation was done by me and Melissa Sheahan, who found her own creative inspiration from the clock hands. Here is a video of the de-installation.