Department of Ultimology

Slab Clay Workshop


Slab Clay Workshop

13 December 2017
The Seminar Room
CONNECT Centre for Future Networks and Communications

In an ongoing collaboration, the Department of Ultimology has commissioned a series of prototypes for contemporary water clocks, by artist Andreas Kindler von Knobloch. We hosted a hands-on workshop to accompany this collaboration at CONNECT, where engineers, researchers and other participants could learn the slab clay technique Andreas used to make the clocks. These works evolved out of an ongoing dialogue between the artist, the Department of Ultimology and CONNECT centre for future networks, regarding materiality in technology, and obsolete ideas and areas of practice as part of an ongoing series of ‘Research Purges’, events where researchers were invited to discard topics of research that no longer served them.

The sculptural pieces are handmade using a technique the artist describes as ‘slab clay making’. Each piece comprises uniquely shaped segments, which when placed together create a functional object for the measuring of time, operated by the insertion of a smartphone into a cavity. Based on the earliest forms of time-keeping that are not based on celestial objects, these water clocks suggest a reclaiming of time through the surrender of our devices. In conjunction with the creation of these pieces, the Department of Ultimology hosted a talk and workshop by Andreas at CONNECT for the engineers and researchers there, reflecting on both the concept and construction of the work.