Chris Buzelli Keeps The New York Times Ticking
It’s true that time is a human construct, but we make it look awesome. Yes, the sun arcs across the sky and the seasons change, but hours and minutes and seconds only tick by because we will them to. As we’ve shackled ourselves to this master at least we count it with the greatest grace and technology: watches. The New York Times devoted an entire section of their paper to watches and invited Chris Buzelli to create an original illustration to grace the cover of the section.
Unlike clocks, watches are designed to fit on our persons, distilling the engineering to micro measurement, accurately keeping pace of the vibrations of atoms with spokes, wheels, and springs. It’s almost impossible to fathom how it’s done, and even more difficult to truly recognize the beauty of this kind of work. Chris recognized that difficulty and instead of working around decided to blow it up. In his painting (part of the process you can see in a video below), Chris went in the opposite direction: he made the technology massive and invited an audience to experience the gigantic construct like a massive moving sculpture. All the pieces are there from the second hand, to the sun tracker, to the crystal tipped dials, but made so big that the visitors can walk on top of them.
Because the technology is so difficult to truly recognize and understand, perhaps this is the way we should imagine it: spokes blotting out the sun, the shine of perfect polished metal as a fully encompassing environment. That is the beauty of illustration, isn’t it? To help us see new things by recreating them around us – just like we have codified the movement of heavenly bodies and the winds of fall into ticking watches on our wrists.