This Unusual Clock Has A Man Painting The Minutes By Hand

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The 10-foot-high art clock shows a video performance of a man painting the hands of the clock in real time.

Dutch designer Maartin Baas’ unusual timepiece installed at the Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport is not just any traditional clock; but a work of art. The timepiece replaces the traditional clock hands with a video of a man in his work uniform painting the hands minute by minute in a 12-hour video performance.

Baas first launched his real time series in 2009 which included “the sweepers” in which two performers replicate an analog clock by sweeping two piles of garbage (one for the hour hand, one for the minute hand) to indicate the time and “the grandfather” which features a man drawing the hands of a clock from the inside of the clock face in a video.

The “Schiphol Clock” installed at the Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is the designer's latest edition to his Real Time series. The airport asked for the designer’s cooperation in replacing the Dutch icons of tulips, clogs and windmills with one of his internationally acclaimed works for the millions of travelers who pass through the transit hub every year.

The 10-foot-high art clock creates a hyper-realistic representation of time with a video performance that takes exactly 12 hours to film and 12 hours to watch.

“Real time is a term that is used in the film industry,” Baas explained. “It means that the duration of a scene portrays exactly the same time as it took to film it. I play with that concept in my Real Time clocks by showing videos where the hands of time are literally moved in real time,” he added.

The timepiece shows the designer in a blue outfit in a reference to the uniforms of the staffers responsible for cleaning the airport. The clock is placed in a stainless steel box, attached to a ladder "to enable this imaginary man in his blue overalls to enter the clock,” said the designer. 

"He has a red bucket and a yellow cleaning cloth and he is cleaning up after the hands of time, after which he creates a new minute, every time again," he added.

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