Project 2 – Exercise 1: The fourth dimension

This exercise asks us to make notes about our thoughts on time in order to know where we’re starting from.

An interesting point I came across on this art education website, was to begin the process of incorporating time into art by thinking about things that happen over time. Examples from the site include things growing or deteriorating, and things moving from one point to another. One student explained her time-based water and sand artwork by saying:

“Time can erase memories in a negative sense, but the passage of time is also very healing. As time goes on, our anger, pain, and loss are soothed, glossed over, and forgotten.”

The Art of Education. April 2014. New Ideas in Art: Time as an Element. [online]. Available from: [Accessed 09/01/2019].

Before finding this article, I was struggling to get to grips with some of the art I was finding online, but thinking about what time actually does is a much more straightforward way for me to approach the concept.

The exercise asks us two questions as well:

• Have you thought about time in relation to artwork before?
No, not until I started this project.

• Have you already come across pieces that explore what time is? Write a little bit about these pieces in your learning log.
To answer this question, I went searching online for pieces exploring time. I thought it would be very easy, but I actually struggled a little. Many of the works that were described as exploring time did not make any sense to me. The most obvious ones I found were pieces such as Salvadore Dali’s ‘The Persistence of Memory‘ which is an oil painting featuring melting/oozing clocks. The significance of the ants crawling over the gold pocket watch, and the fading of the strange face/figure, could be said to represent decay, one of the things that happens over time.

Another work I discovered is a film that’s literally about time called ‘The Clock‘ by visual artist Christian Marclay. It’s 24 hours long and features thousands of film and TV clips of clocks, pieced together in such a way that they show the actual time. Excerpts can be found on YouTube, and Tate Modern is showing the full 24 hour film this weekend, allowing visitors to see the late night and early morning sections of the piece that are not available to view during their normal opening hours.

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