Students taking the BSc in Music, Sound and Technology recently met at London’s Tate Modern gallery to experience Christain Marclay’s film The Clock. Marclay’s work connects with many topics that were discussed in the Music, Sound and Technology module throughout the term, including musical and audio-visual techniques of sampling, cut-up, splice and montage, as well as wider issues relating to authorship. and the use of environmental or found sound as compositional materials.
Current student Fabian has written evocatively about his experience of the trip.
The reason we went to the Tate was due to their showing of The Clock, a 24-hour film by Christian Marclay. The film is a collection of shots of clocks arranged in real time, i.e. it is 10:24 in the morning so you see a clock in the film at 10:24. Thousands of shots from films arranged in perfect timing to the real world, so that every minute there’s at least one instant of the time. It could be a simple bedside clock, or someone can ask for the time and a character replies. You can see slices of popular films as well as random shots from films you would’ve never seen before. This collage is nothing short of a masterpiece, with the most impressive part being the cohesiveness of the shots in combination. Audio flows from one to the other, and the tracks make contextual sense – it’s not just random shots thrown around. It’s a precisely edited and arranged piece of art.