Tuesday, January 06, 2009

when clocks become poets...

john christie, word clock III, 1968

john christie, word clock III, 1968

some images of word clock III, by john christie, from 1968.

"two digital clock units contained one above the other in a small wooden, glass fronted box. the numerals have been replaced by words, and the whole device repeats its cycle every 24 hours... making a total of 1440 different word combinations per day...the leaves are painted in one of five colors...the units can also be changed by hand..."

i remember once getting a compliment from an artist whose work i really love, regarding a work of mine, saying he was jealous i had thought of it first. word clock III is one of those things i certainly wish i'd somehow found within myself before finding these images in an old art magazine...

but perhaps i should simply thank christie for opening a door of possibilities. word clock III is one of those wonderfully simple things that suggests a profound amount of potential - simply by seeing something useful as useful for something else.

instead of using a clock to tell time, it uses time to tell us something new about the potential of poetic composition. our concept of time shifts completely from something we watch because we are anxious, to something we can watch slowly, reading quietly, for hours...

i am assuming the word 'cage' features prominently in the poetic text in hommage to the chance based composition of the clock's combinations of words...

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1 Comments:

Blogger ArtSparker said...

Can't recall if I mentioned Arthur Ganson's work...

7:17 PM  

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