Some things are just meant to be seen in motion. That’s certainly the case with A Million Times, a whirring board of almost 300 analogue clocks that exist in such a beautiful harmony with one another that they can segue from a pattern of rhythmically undulating waves to a full-functional digital watchface. A static image doesn’t do it justice.
Created by 32-year-old Swedish designers Per Emanuelsson and Bastian Bischoff of the Humans Since 1982 design collective, A Million Times is a collection of 288 analog and monochrome clocks, networked together and controlled by an iPad. With each clockface twirling its hands at a different rate, the Million Times installation might just look like horological static at first. But the 566 clock hands synchronize according to a logic all of their own, and eventually, the entire face of the installation animates itself into a magical kinetic sculpture.
When watching A Million Times, the most breathtaking moment is when those hundreds of clock hands suddenly sync up, bending and twisting into angle to suddenly form a seven-segment digital watch display. It’s like watching the ripples on a placid ocean of time gradually resolve itself into a big, blinking digital watch face. The effect is totally hypnotic: a visual reflection upon the soothing, hypnotic nature of time itself.