Light is Time

The Spiral building hosted several displays and an installation by Citizen, a watchmaker. This was the same building and about the same time as last year as the tunnel made of clear packing tape. Spiral has this huge, multi-story space in the bowels of their building that is perfect for these massive, singular installations that are like set designs. People bring their children, their cameras, and their dates to enjoy whatever whimsy is there. This time (no pun intended), aside from the corporate signage at the front that could probably be used at their next trade show, the metallic parts used to make watches were handled as sculpture. Some were grouped in small, backlit cases, and viewers needed a jeweler’s glass or loupe to see the intricacy of the screws and other bits and pieces.



Can you believe these are screws? Somebody took great care to lay them on their sides in a geometric pattern. As we all know, many similar objects combined to form one piece is a common trend in sculpture but how often by a corporation?

IMG_5804Don’t these seem like small figurines and their shadows? This kind of display shows off a company’s skill and craftsmanship better than just having the parts lie beside a watch in a display case on black velvet.


Citizen has been trying to change how watches are powered from batteries to solar power so they like to claim that they are trying to “change light into time.” Citizen first presented Light is Time at Milan Design Week and received several awards for this installation.


The glow-in-the-dark construction of a watch somehow seemed to add a futuristic note to the setting.


Metal discs called ground planes were hung on filaments from the ceiling; ethereal music filled the air. A dreamlike blizzard of gold and silver flooded the hall, but nothing made physical contact. No moisture, no winds, no cold. Just light and sound.

To stand in the centre and spin around without banging into anybody would have been great; to have been the only one in the room would have been fabulous.



In the centre, one pocket watch hung on a chain above an illuminated picture of the cog and other other inner mechanisms of a watch. Eerie! Was the watch a god for this society? Did time stand still as we walked through this storm without getting wet? Questions like that popped into my head.








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