How to build a timepiece.

How to build a timepiece


Sorry for being absent, I just came back to Swansea. In this article, please click the blue parts to access some source or introduction. My article is a little long due to the thinking process, you can skip this part, there are my plans in the end written in bold type.1


To keep thinking about time and life, I did sketches, I took photos and videos, I collected information …


This is a Chinese calligraphy sentence, means ” Life passes like a dream, people are nothing but plankton will die at any minute in this immeasurable and lasting world”.


And I got ideas of your work, “time can be bought or not”, “light is time”, “Visual & Mirror”, “rain room” … I also did some researches about our items. We are the travelers of time.


Darren Almond “TIDE 2008” Project


(picture, click to access the source)

He used a huge amount of clocks to present “time”.

A brief introduction.


Christian Marclay “The Clock 2010”


(picture,click to access the source)


Introduction from Wikipedia: The Clock is an art installation by video artist Christian Marclay. It is a looped 24-hour montage that functions as a clock. Its scenes are selected from cinema and television history, with real-time references to the time of day.


So far, I’ve thought of questions like below.

Do we need a specific container to make the audience focus on “time”?

Is this space open or sealed?

Will we add interaction with audience into our work?

What kind of time to express, the standstill, the flow, the past, the future, and “today”.

Time and personal memory; time and history; time and death; time and science; time strike a responsive chord in a crowd … Physical time and mental time.


Meanwhile, I got the experience of time during this vacation. Like performing time.



And I was moved by the “time” in moments.



The upper one is where the first photo was taken in Spain, in Nov.10th, 1839. The lower one is taken by me, just a few days ago. 64706 days passes, people are gone, the building stands still like before.


Here are some of my ideas about our work.


1.Time. When required describing “time”, the most possible image came to mind will be fluid. I thought about putting the audience in a transparent cube. From the inside, you feel like you are walking beneath the sea level, you can see the sunrises, the sunsets, the clouds… through the refraction. You can smell the sea, you can hear the sea, you can see the sea plants twine your legs your arms, you can feel the water run into your ears… And the scene is sped up, like time-lapse photography.

2.Time. Creating a space with fake time, you can see the time reverses to centuries, the art heritages become brand-new, the world becomes uncivilized and conquered by nature…Or accelerate the time, things get corroded, human beings die out. At a certain point, the world collapses, the time stop. In this space, as the viewer, you can see the fake objects pass through your body. You are there, but you are an outsider, you can just watch, you can do nothing to change the situation in front of you.

3.Life. You walk into a thorough dark room, no lights, no sound. Then, a shining point appears on the ground. It begins to grow, like a sprout, become bigger and bigger, gradually consists of the pattern of a city map. At the same time, there are voices of modern world come, voices both of nature and society, like raindrops, traffic, bird sings, people talk…etc. This inspiration came from my vacation. Cities cause pollution and are sometimes harmful to nature, but cities’ patterns are multivariate and beautiful at some angles which are rare to daily life. What I want to tell is to value both nature and modern society, to search the balance between them.



4.Doppelganger.Inspired by you guys, the mirror, the VR… I didn’t think out a way to show a parallel universe or another yourself in this world, due to your excellent ideas, I get clues. This installation can be divided into several parts, in each of the part, there is an invisible wall separate the reality and the illusion. And behind the wall, you find another you. When you wander in different parts of this installation, sometimes you are in totally dark while the “mirror you” are walking in a daily situation, and sometimes the surrounding transfers, the “mirror you” are surrounded by darkness and silence. This transfer happens continuously until you walk out. During this visit, you can see the delicate emotion changes of the “mirror you”, his(her) happiness, his(her) grief, his(her) numb… Maybe you want to accompany and comfort the “mirror you”, maybe you can’t recognize which one is the true you, maybe you will like or dislike him(her) …How interesting it will be, we observe this world with our senses, but we never observe ourselves. Have you ever thought if you are not you, you are another person, will you like “yourself” as a stranger or a friend, will you be attracted by “yourself”, will you be willing to develop a relationship with “yourself”… As an adult, we have to yield to the society and reality at times, maybe we deviate from the expectation “when I grow up, I want to become that kind of person”. This work is to remind people including myself of staying passionate about the things we love, being generous to the people we love, examining our behaviors, and remembering the real look of ourselves.


Thank you for reading my monolog. Compared to my previous thought experiment, I think maybe I’ve got a little progress, I hope we can work out a timepiece astonishes the teachers, the classmates, the audience, and us.


22:29 Jan.10th 2017.



3 thoughts on “How to build a timepiece.

  1. Nice thoughts Connie, I notice that a common theme in your first two ideas is the use of time lapse or accelerated footage to make the passing of time more apparent. It’s interesting that we find it hard to experience time passing in the moment, in our lived experience. Rather than time passing smoothly it feels like a series of successive “nows”.
    However, with pre-recorded footage we are able to manipulate time. In fact, the act of watching pre-recorded footage in itself is a form of time travel.
    I really like the doppelgänger idea. I’m not sure if I fully understand correctly, lets talk about it more when we meet.
    I wonder how it would feel to introduce a change in the speed of playback to the footage of a viewer being filmed and projected in the same space.
    For example, you walk into a space as you describe above. You are recorded and projected live in front of yourself but at half speed so that your movements and actions in real life and the ones in the footage that re-present them grow exponentially further apart.
    Not sure I’ve explained that very well, lets discus when we meet!


  2. Beautiful drawings Connie and I enjoyed reading about your research on concepts of time as well as your ideas, in particular the Dopelleganger! Following on from todays meeting these will surely be pulled together in an extraordinary way to create an intriguing event for our festival!


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