clocks, Wojciech Sztukowski

The exhibition ‘Clocks – beyond the Concrete’ (8.05.1981) arranged by Stanisław Dróżdż and Jerzy Baranowski is based on wide documentation explaining the principles of the clock installation developed by Stanisław Dróżdż and presented in October 1980 in the Institute ‘Nad Fosą’. This project presented also at this exhibition consists of 28 alarm clocks including 27 operating clocks placed on the shelves in three rows, 9 pieces in each row, one over another and one dismantled clock. The same operation on the drive was performed on every clock situated in one row, whereas the same operation on the hands was performed on every clock placed in one column – there are 9 columns, 3 clocks in each […]

The exhibition presents a general conception of the project with the number of combinations possible to achieve by setting adequately the clocks in this installation. Taking into consideration different settings of hands, axes, drives, glass faces and the act of dismantling the number of possibilities amounts to 157 501. However, if other operations are taken into account such as regulating the rotation speed or the direction of rotations the number of possibilities is unlimited. The documentation presents 13 photographs of the installation ‘in motion’ made every hour from 12:00 till 00:00 and the same number of corresponding computer printouts produced by dr. J. Baranowski indicating the longitude where the clocks should be located to show a given time at the moment of photographing them. Each printout has 9 columns corresponding to 9 columns of the clocks. In order to show exactly a given time the clocks would have to be placed not only in one-hour but in one-millisecond intervals in different points of the globe. The only exceptions which could not observe this rule were the clocks without the hands and the dismantled clock which could be located in any place in the universe without any difference to what they present. ‘The Clocks’ do not tell us anything about the nature of time. The time indicated by them does not depend on the properties of the material world but on the conception developed by Dróżdż, on the idea of filling the entire world with time. This is the conception of the ‘transcendent uselessness’. It exists beyond the concrete but in the sphere defined by the object it has no equivalent apart from our own consciousness of flowing time.

The fragment of the review ‘Without Conventions’, ‘Sigma’, no. 1 (123), 1983-84, p. 26.