Blurring the line between performance art and functional design, the striking Schiphol Clock features hands drawn on in real time. Created by Dutch designer Maarten Baas and installed in Amsterdam's bustling Schiphol Airport, the fascinating piece artistically reimagines the ticking of a traditional clock.
Measuring 3-meters tall, the Schiphol Clock presents a fascinating 12-hour video of Baas using a paint roller to consistently create—and repeatedly erase—the hands of the clock minute by minute for 12 hours straight. To Baas, this tireless and tedious approach to time-telling is the heart of the piece, which he describes as a “hyper-realistic representation of time.” He explains: “Real time is a term that is used in the film industry. It means that the duration of a scene portrays exactly the same time as it took to film it. I play with that concept in my Real Time clocks by showing videos where the hands of time are literally moved in real time.”
In the video, Baas is dressed in a pair of blue coveralls. In his hands, he holds a bright red bucket and vivid yellow rag. Though this look is predominantly inspired by the “many faceless men who sweep, clean and work at an airport,” it is also based on less obvious muses: distinctive Dutch artists (and primary color enthusiasts) Piet Mondrian and Gerrit Rietveld. Much like his unlikely pairing of avant-garde art with everyday technology, the quirky combination of anonymous workers with well-known artists showcases Baas' innovative and inventive approach to contemporary design.