Using Material Techniques To Track the Passage of Time #ArtTuesday
The unprecedented idea behind the structure for Sesame Street was this: live action interactions between kids, adults, and muppets would be broken up at points with commercial breaks. But these commercial breaks would be short educational films, animated or otherwise. It was in these educational commercials that many children first encountered all sorts of ideas about math, grammar, tolerance, and science. That was the first place that some were challenged to really sit with the notion of a minute. Just how long is a minute? If you sit and let 60 seconds pass, what is that like?
The work of Maartin Baas explores time through various manipulation of materials. Here’s more from COLOSSAL:
Part of a series of performances centered on cumbersome and surreal timekeeping devices, Maarten Baas’s “Sweeper’s Clock” chronicles two men as they track each passing moment with heaps of garbage. The aerially shot film follows the pair as they push lines of trash representative of the minute and hour hands around a large circle faintly defined in the landscape, keeping time as they go.
Released in 2009, the video piece parallels other clever works in Baas’s Real Time series, including a painter manually unveiling a digital display and another showing the Dutch artist trapped inside a grandfather clock. Visitors to the international terminal of the Amsterdam airport in 2016 were also greeted with “Schiphol Clock,” an analog device suspended from the ceiling in which a man adjusted the time by hand. “The worker’s blue overalls, yellow rag, and red bucket pay homage to the famous Dutch artist, Mondrian,” Baas writes.
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