Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Timeless Clock

I don’t have time to research it, but somewhere, no doubt, someone has written about what makes an object an icon.

I’m convinced this black clock fits the description although I’m not sure why. The question invites speculation.

For one thing, it looks form-fitting functional. The dial is no-nonsense and easy to read. The dial’s color is an off-white. In some light, it seems tinged with an antique yellow-green. The shiny black enamel is also all business, although I have seen novelty-store, iconoclastic versions whimsically dressed up.

The bells on the top are either pigtails or lofty ears. There’s no question they look like prone breasts although the nipple-linking silver handle intrudes on the comparison.

There’s also a Mickey Mouse aura about its face, proportions and ear-like bells. It’s as if when you look away the clock might yawn or wink.

I can hear its tick-tock, tick-tock ticking from across the room, a mechanical heartbeat.

In the first photo (above left), note that the clock was used to illustrate a recent Oregonian essay about time. Any number of clocks could have been chosen for the illustration, but the page designer chose this one, perhaps for its universal appeal.

I bought the clock last summer at Ikea for $6.99 not because I needed it, but simply because it seemed to exude the very essence of clock.

The bad news is that I can’t set it because the setting knob has fallen off.

Which makes it a clock free of time — a timeless clock.

An icon.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous NonprofitGirl said...

I would be glad to trade you my working IKEA clock for your knobless one. The ticking is REALLY loud, which lead to a frantic search for someplace in the house to stash the thing, far away from all people attempting to sleep. :-)It now resides, the ticking having finally stopped, on a bookcase.

12:14 PM  

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