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August 19, 2004

Edtior’s Note: Permalinks changed

I’ve changed the permalinks on the site. So instead of every page ending in .html, it won’t need one. I had initially done it to help with the transition from our old blogger setup, however, because of it the archives were inaccessible.

So, please update your links if you were previously linking to a particular post.

Filed under: Adnan @ 11:51 am , Comments (0)

Sound Sculpture

Ever since man put a price on time, Timepieces have been judged for their horological or decorative values, but rarely for their aural experience, that is, until the much recent rise of the quartz movement. Ask any watch aficionado today about their mechanical collection, and they won’t fail to mention the sound and feeling they get when they wind up their mechanical watch.

With this in mind, I recently had a conversation with Douglas Repetto, the creator of the Sine Clock, a sound sculpture that keeps time with sound by encoding it in a set of sine waves:

Wrist: Your clock reminds me of how important sound is to the mechanical watch experience.

Douglas: I can understand that. There’s still something marvelous about the complexity of a mechanical watch mechanism. It seems so unlikely to work!

Wrist: Would you describe in detail how your clock works for our readers?

Douglas: It’s fairly simple. There are three sounds, low, medium, and high. Each one is pulsing at a certain speed.

The low pulsing goes from slow to fast to slow over the course of one minute, the medium pulsing goes from slow to fast to slow over the course of one hour, and the high pulsing goes from slow to fast to slow over the course of one day, so if you sit and listen to the low sound for a minute, you’ll hear its pulse slowly speed up for thirty seconds, then slow down for another thirty seconds. Then it starts again.

Because the speed of each pulse is constantly changing, each moment in the day has a distinct set of pulse speeds.

Technically it works perfectly…but in human terms, it’s difficult to actually tell the time. It’s easy to hear the passing of a minute. But for an hour or a day it’s not really possible to tell precisely what time it is.

But that’s okay, I was thinking more of the way we tell what time of day it is by the position of the sun in the sky or the passing of a train or some other environmental clue. After listening for awhile you get a feeling for the sound at different times of day, but you’re never going to really be able to say “It’s 3:37pm!”

Wrist: How intrusive is it compared to the tick of a watch?

Douglas: It turns out to be a pretty soothing sound. There’s one in a group show in a gallery right now here in New York, and the gallery people were a bit worried at first that the sound would be overwhelming or distracting, but really it’s a very quiet, calm sound.

There’s a short snippet of sound on the website. After a while I find that the sound sort of melts into the background, just the way a clock’s ticking does.

Wrist: How did you first come up with the concept?

Douglas: Almost all of my artwork involves physical or biological cycles, systems, or phenomena of one sort or another. I find natural systems endlessly compelling, and in my works I often try to find ways of making those systems more easily perceivable.

I also tend to work with sound, so I was thinking about our perception of time and started imagining different ways of marking the passage of time with sound. Sine Clock was the result.


Filed under: Adnan @ 11:27 am , Comments (3)

August 17, 2004

Wooden Clock

It might look like a block of wood, but plug it in and it’ll tell you the time. No idea as to how it works, but it would certainly look at home in a Muji store.

related url

4Senses Interior (Link via MoCoLoCo)

Filed under: Adnan @ 3:05 pm , Comments (1)

August 14, 2004

Horology of the Body

In the future, your P Diddy blessed $7,200 diamond encrusted chronograph won’t just tell you the world time, or the status of your stock portfolio but believe it or not, according to a new study published in Japan – a display of your individual body time. (and maybe even deliver “drug treatments at certain body times. wink.)

The report described how the authors analyzed more than 100 time-indicating genes in a test mouse and developing a “molecular timetable” that provided an accurate body time based on the sampling of gene expression levels at a single point in time.

Can’t wait.

related url

Eurekalert – Got Time?

Filed under: Adnan @ 2:34 pm , Comments (1)

August 4, 2004

Optimise Sleep

More measuring devices from the future -> This one in particular is part of an exhibition about fictional products from the future. We gave it four Louis Vutton knockoff watches out of five.

The text reads: “Most of us didn’t get enough sleep last night which will have affected our performance today – at work and play. Sleepwell can help you manage your sleep and fit it back into your life. Our watches monitor your sleep and dynamically create a schedule so you can recover the rest you deserve. Sleepwell. you’ll feel brighter for it.”

related url

Human Beans (via Boingboing)

Filed under: Adnan @ 2:36 pm , Comments (2)



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