Anybody Got the Time?

Starting yesterday, January 6, at 6 p.m., and continuing through 6 p.m. today, January 7, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has been presenting a 24-hour event
concentrating on the concept of time “in its philosophical,
psychological, biological, sociological, poetic, aesthetic, and
economic manifestations. Constituting a multi-disciplinary approach to
the subject, the program will bring together artists, architects,
scientists, philosophers, historians, engineers, filmmakers, musicians,
and other cultural producers.”

Richard McGuire, illustrator, author, Swatch watch designer (one of his creations, above), and a founding member of the quartet Liquid Liquid, was at the museum just after midnight last night. I’m sorry to have missed it, time just flew by. But here’s what McGuire says about his talk:

“I talked about ‘time’ in different aspects of my work. I started by talking about the Liquid Liquid song ‘Cavern’ and how it’s been sampled and changed and been used over time, with the most famous sample being ‘White Lines’ by Grandmaster Flash. Then I showed lots of film clips: Julian Schnabel’s film Basquiat where the actor playing Basquiat is painting, with ‘White Lines’ as the soundtrack; a clip from the film Downtown 81 of the real Basquiat painting along with ‘Cavern’ as the soundtrack; and Spike Lee’s music video of ‘White Lines’, and later, a clip from his film 25th Hour that uses ‘Cavern’ in a scene.”

He showed other things from his work that use time: “A clip from my film Fear(s) of the Dark (below), of the scene with the guy looking at the photo album, so you see the woman’s life compressed into one minute. Then some New Yorker stuff, like the ‘New Year’s Eve’ cover that rotates and reads both ways, night transforming into day.”

If you live in New York, consider stopping by the museum today—the Guggenheim’s website has a PDF of all of the remaining scheduled events.

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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