Subversion clock

I came up with an idea for an art piece. It looks just like an old-fashioned clock, complete with ticking second-hand. And as long as you are in the room, it behaves just like any other clock, advancing steadily, one second at a time.

But this clock comes equipped with a highly sensitive motion sensor. It can use this sensor to determine when there is nobody in the room. As soon as the room has become devoid of people, the clock starts to advance quickly.

This means that the next time somebody enters the room, the hands of the clock will have been reset to some completely random time. And yet, to anybody looking right at it, it always behaves in a perfectly normal way.

In essence, the clock acts as a subversive agent, playing with our expectations of how clocks are supposed to behave, and turning those expectations upside down. Insidious in a way that a mere broken clock could never be, the clock becomes an agent not of order but of chaos. Essentially, this “subversion clock” is a wolf in sheep’s clothing — not so much a time keeper as a time destroyer.

It would be especially fun to have one of these in every room.

One thought on “Subversion clock”

  1. I’d prefer one that just pauses when nobody is around, that would make me feel a lot better in general 🙂
    One could pop back into the room every now and then with a sigh of relief – phew – still plenty of time left to get things done.


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