Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Aomori Ice Clock

In February this year I was invited to travel to Japan to work with local craftspeople in Aomori in Japan. As part of the work I was a participant in a workshop run by Nobumuchi Tosa from Maywa Denki. Tosa-san is a hero of mine and I've met him several times before, dating back to the first time I travelled to Japan in 2002 (for the CG Arts exhibition in Tokyo).

The workshop was conducted in Japanese, of which I speak very, very little so most of it was mysterious to me! To be honest I think even to the Japanese speakers it was rather mysterious - we were introduced to Tosa-san's free-association way of working.

The experience was rendered extra strange because Aomori was under several metres of snow - you can see in the photo below that the snow came up above the level of the windows (although this is somewhat exaggerated because the snow slipped off the roof and formed drifts against the edge of the building).

Anyway by a very circuitous route I found myself on the second day of the workshop (prototyping day) needing to produce some sort of clock combined with the river thames. Because of all the snow, I opted to use frozen water and produced a clock made of ice.
I ran the clock as a sort of performance for the camera for just over one hour - basically tending the ice-hands, moving them around as necessary and adding more ice when the hands melted too much. The first video shows the laying out of the clock face and then the second shows the clock in motion.

The workshop was organised by Okada Tomohiro of Creative Cluster. Later I'll post some information about the other pieces I made while in Japan. 

As a coda you can see below the building of the clock face:

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