‘Book Clock’ by Masaaki Hiromura

A Monday book-find from one of the many blogs that I follow and read. A digital-video “book clock” by Japanese artist and designer Masaaki Hiromura (his design house is pretty nice too).

One day I’ll build a house, near the sea, near the mountains, filled with things that will never quite be the “conventional”. Books will consume the stairwells whether underneath each step, lining the walls as you climb or hidden behind doors in their own hidden land. Sitting on a staircase, half way up or half way down, is a place to read…and perhaps a place for something like this “clock” to live.

Currently on view at MUJI in Shibuya, this ever-repeating video loop features 3 books representing the hours, minutes and seconds of a single day. One hand is seen to repeatedly turn each page, obsessively, exhaustingly, relentlessly to keep up with each second as it passes. The sound of the page as it turns cuts through the air quite distinctly…a sound you don’t often hear in sequence. Hiromura has constructed a dichotomy between the traditional and digital realms…a battle I try to balance on a daily basis. It faces the age of rapidly developing new media whilst referencing back to a dying form…that of the book. I can’t live without real books, their weight in my hands, the smell of their pages and print. I think I’d like this work more if the numbers were written and read as words within the book pages rather than as numbers…that would give another literal complexity to its visual power. It immediately makes you acknowledge how quickly time passes…confronting time as such…and as I always say, how you should appreciate each moment (I type this as I’ve been in the research office all day in front of a screen eugh)…as I do when I have the chance and as part of real life. Have an adventure every day.

book-clock Masaaki Hiromura

book-clock-4 Masaaki Hiromura

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