RETHINKING OUR RELATIONSHIP TO TIME
WITH ABSTRACT ART AND CODE
In collaboration with artist Sigrid Calon, NAP Labs re-imagined the “tick tock” of passing time by bringing together art, cutting edge technology, design, and playful explorations of shapes and colour.
Our very own modern take on one of the earliest technological innovations. This artwork showcases the flow of time through ever-changing patterns, creating unique compositions as time unfolds. Explore your own personal way to tell time based on your choice of graphic, classic, or abstract layouts.
We asked Sigrid Calon and Coen Klösters, founder of NAP Labs, about the inspiration and process behind this one-of-a-kind collaboration. Read below to find out more.
What sparked this collaboration?
A couple of years ago we were paired by Arttenders to produce an ever-evolving artwork for the Kalverpassage in Amsterdam. Working together felt like a natural fit. I discovered how amazing Sigrid is at working with colours and patterns, and how much I loved writing code to accommodate that. We kept in touch and after a while Sigrid asked me, why not join creative forces again to produce something unique and timeless?
Why produce a clock? - one of the earliest examples of technological innovation.
I always wanted to make something small, intimate, for your house, using the tech we normally use/apply for large scale productions. Like an interactive painting you get to enjoy every day.
Time for me is something special, it's the fourth dimension! More 'traditional' art is two or three dimensional, coded art adds the fourth and I love playing with that extra dimension. As you interact with the artwork in your personal space, it should grow on you, slowly, as the days pass and time fades.
TIME=COLOUR takes away the literal and adds the emotional aspect. It also poses a question: why must time, and our relationship with it, be so absolute? Is that what we want? Often it's enough to know something passed, not exactly when.
Time is a beautiful and special concept and something we tend to take for granted. We often don't have enough time, time goes too fast, be on time for your appointment, etc. I actually prefer not to call this piece a clock. It's much more than that! I see it more as an object based on time. In the process of making it, we played with the different perceptions and representations of time. For example, one setting, which is called TIME=COLOUR, omits the numbers completely, however the passage of time is still manifested in the background colors. This creates compositions in moving areas of color. For me this is so great that we can display the time in color, has this ever been done before? I think it is no longer about whether you can literally read time, the fact that you have so many options and you can choose abstraction is the end all be all!
What makes TIME=COLOUR unique?
Coen and I decided that it would be a limited edition of 50. We thought it would be a challenge to make them all unique! Sometimes I cursed that choice, but now I'm very happy with it. For me it was a search for beautiful and timeless color schemes. There are a number of different basic setups. For example, you can choose only two colors in the background, but more variation in the numbers. Some pieces have the powerful color combination in the background of yellow, red, blue and white, which is of course a bit of a tribute to De Stijl and Mondriaan.
The shapes I used come from a work I made in 2020, which was based on research into a new visual language using eight shapes. The basis of those eight shapes has its origins in the circle and the square: the whole form, half, quarter and eighth. The shapes have abstraction and playfulness, which allows one to create different styles with them, such as the use of colour in the different parts, an outline or a filling gradient in the numbers. I think what is special is that we offer options of perception. As an 'owner' you look for your own preferences and the piece allows you to play with them.
With this product launch, NAP Labs opens up a new trajectory, one we are excited to keep exploring together with local and international artists and designers interested in creating unique pieces powered by NAP Framework.