In our corporatized consumer culture, we humans are subjected to saturation bombing by advertising moguls containing subliminal as well as overt sexual messaging. An outcome of this mass-merchandising of sexuality in the guise of the commonplace is the frequent rendering of the erotic as ordinary and indistinguishable from the background noise of daily life. One of the ways that creative people can rebel against this vulgarization of what should be extraordinary is to find ways of restoring a sense of unanticipated spontaneity to messaging conveying the erotic aspects of the human condition.
My own recent contribution towards recapturing what is exciting and mysterious about human sexuality was combining art with utility. In that connection, there is probably no more utilitarian object than the ubiquitous wall clock. Unlike wrist watches, which long ago became branding exercises and fashion statements, the commonplace wall clock, be it at the home or in the office, is merely an implement measuring the passage of time. The movement of the dial hands are about as exciting as the numbers they pass in split second motion or by the minute and hour. In other words, the wall clock is the ultimate appliance of dullness; inherently practical with undeniably boring optics . We look at our wall clocks out of necessity, such as counting down the moments until five o’clock in the afternoon and quitting time, or the end of a long, sleep-inducing oration.
Having done some fine art photography, with female nudes as my primary subject, I embarked on a project that involved selecting one of my images, and having it substitute for the numbers on a wall clock. The result is my first foray into measuring the passage of time, the Breast Clock (http://www.cafepress.com/nudewomen.524388146). The challenge was to select an anatomically interesting portrayal of a woman’s breasts, and have that image substitute for numbers on a contemporary wall clock. The result, I believe is a visually pleasing transformation from the ubiquity of the typical wall clock.
The body is aluminum, the glass face sturdy and the movement is quartz. However, that is all the Breast Clock has in common with other wall clocks. On the dial face of the Breast Clock you will not find a single number. However, what is there is, I believe, is far more interesting and visually pleasing. Keeping abreast of time (pun intended) now no longer needs to be a dull chronological exercise, but can now also arouse passion and a sense of wonderment about what remains very special and miraculous about human sexuality and eroticism.
By combining form and functionality with aesthetics and sensuality, the once ordinary wall clock is now transformed into the visually impactful Breast Clock. It still tells the time, and runs on a “AA” battery. However, that is where the similarity with other wall clocks ends. The real message here is that human creativity can design the everyday products of life to become far more exciting and stimulating. That would be a refreshing change from the current cultural trend towards rendering that which should be an emotional superlative into the bleakness of the ordinary.