Tuesday, November 28, 2006

'Dictatorship of Exact Time' Tian Harlan's Chromachron

Original 1973 model
(Time shown is approx half past one)

Tian Harlan, architect, engineer, artist develops the communication system 'Chromachron' (Chroma=Color ; Chronos=Time) in 1971. Timekeeping is approximated with a rotating disk revolving around a colored timezone by mechanical (wind-up) movement. Rotation is gauged by motion without demarcation of minutes or seconds. Each color represents an hour and as the cutaway passes through each - time is visualized, as he hoped, with less rigidity. Detailed in Pieter Doensen's book 'Watch - History of the Modern Wristwatch' as the 'anti-stress watch' freeing us from the 'dictatorship of exact time.'

1973-78 Models
(Left=little past 12 ; Right=9:20ish)

Originally conceived as the 'Colour-Time' clock sculpture at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Tian created over 100 variants of the watch (and clocks) through the eighties.