As we come to the end of 2020 and greet the year 2021, we present to you our 21st Show and Tell! Join us in taking a look at the greatest asset that we still have: our time here on our dear planet Earth.
2020 has been an unprecedentedly difficult year that has challenged all of us in different ways. From the constant reckoning that we no longer can enjoy our previously normal routines to the anxieties of facing the outside world, these changes have presented us with a new set of perspectives to review our priorities. As a result, we continue to reflect on the values that we can provide to our community for years to come. As a platform for creative dialogue, we had to reconsider how to keep our spirits alive through social isolation this year. Our two exhibitions, Artists’ Tools and Late Summer, actively demonstrated a need for artistic ingenuity in our daily practices, and a deep connection to nature to grow healthy roots for physical and spiritual well being. We also organized workshops and performances, our Frontiers Conference event series, and Show and Tell, in digital or socially-distanced formats. We hope this nurturing community spirit will carry through in our ongoing dialogues and collaborations in the coming years, as we help each other grow in healthier and ever more creative directions.
Che-Wei Wang paints Special Special using the Dot Blaster 8000.
Before we stumble into the new year, we present our 21st Show and Tell with Earth Clock by Che-Wei Wang, one of the artists featured in our Artists’ Tools exhibition and who branded our storefront gate with colorful waves.
Che-Wei Wang, Earth Clock.
Let us first zoom out of the confines of our headspace, or the physical home that we have been quarantined in for so long, and see things from a different perspective. Every minute, it collects images from Google Earth and assembles a five-panel digital clock from aerial views of the Earth that resemble Arabic numerals.
Whether it is a rocky valley in Peru that resembles the number “1”, two domed rooftops in England that are arranged like a colon, or an artificial island in Bahrain that reads as a cursive number “3”, visitors who engage the clock can journey to different corners of the Earth. Users are also encouraged to discover for themselves places from Google Earth that resemble numbers, and contribute to the collection of “earth clock” data.
Alternating between artificiality and chance, it plays with our sense of scale and time—both of which have been undeniably transformed by the pandemic—distorting, elongating, condensing.
For some of us, the process of being transported via digital screens is as close to traveling as we can get at the moment. With Earth Clock, each increment in time, a different configuration of aerial landscapes is born. Time pulsates; it becomes non-linear. At a time when our sense of security, safety, and community is continually challenged, it is a reminder that the only constant is movement.
We encourage you to use Earth Clock for the countdown this year, and on that occasion, the Special Special team wishes you a very Special New Year!
Che-Wei Wang's Earth Clock displays the time 12:31.
Enjoy the work:
About the artist:
Che-Wei Wang [pron. sey-wey] is an artist, designer & architect with expertise in computational and generative design, fabrication technologies, electronics, CNC machining, and metal manufacturing. The results range from architecture & sculpture to interactive installations & mobile apps. He is the winner of the 2003 SOM fellowship and the Young Alumni Achievement Award from Pratt Institute. Che-Wei has taught courses on design, time, creative computing, and inflatables, at various institutions. He is an alumnus of MIT Media Lab, ITP at NYU, and Pratt Institute.
For Show and Tell, Special Special invites a selection of artists to produce or share work that can be viewed in the browser, downloaded, or streamed. The work is presented as a series of digital exhibitions periodically delivered to email inboxes.