A pair of slow clocks: one that stops when looked at, another submerged in gooey oil. Each loses momentum the more it labors. Dormant at first, a pulse can only be discerned if you give it time and listen closely.

Drawing from Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ elegy to queer love in
, I’ve been thinking of “broken” timepieces as an expression of grief—one where time is an account of life, and all loss is political. How do we even begin to contend with the matrices of loss under capitalism? How do we measure the time they’ve extracted from us and our ecologies?

But I also wonder if there’s beauty to slowness. Consider the “anti-technology”: a device designed to be unproductive, inconsumable. A shy clock that intimates its passage only to those patient enough. It breathes new meaning into “keeping time”—keeping life, holding life, preserving life. As Ruth Wilson Gilmore says, “where life is precious, life is precious.”
Above, left: a large, unmarked clock veiled in black velvet. Its face and hands are hidden from view, but a soft ticking can be heard if you listen closely. Above, right: the same clock, unveiled. Triggered by a light sensor, the hands stop ticking, and the clock is idle. The current time is unknown.

Below: a smaller, unmarked clock partially filled with mineral oil. With each revolution, the viscosity of the oil slows the hands down. The current time is unknown.
Built with reused clocks, an Arduino, a photoresistor, velvet, and mineral oil. Exhibited at the School for Poetic Computation, 2019. Featured in Creative Applications, 2020.