The Enigmatic Face of Time - Wacker Chemie AG

The Enigmatic Face of Time

Using the Sun to Tell the Time

For over 20 years, Alain Persouyre has been using two of WACKER’s liquid industrial adhesives: ELASTOSIL® E43 and E41. Both grades are one-component silicone adhesives that cure at room temperature and are therefore easy to use.

Another work by this French artist is a clock called “Noon Somewhere” which can be viewed in the lobby of a Brazilian airline. Instead of showing local time, a bright red light appears on a four-meter-high map of the world made of sand-blasted glass, indicating locations across the globe where the sun is currently at its zenith.

A red light is also the protagonist in his time-play sculpture “12 Directions of Time.” It moves along twelve transparent resin poles which are suspended in the air on two steel wires spanning eleven meters. The resin rods contain diodes which display the minutes. The red light travels along one rod and then leaps up one level to the next rod. As the day progresses, it flashes at different places at various heights on this installation, which is mounted in the entrance hall of the Alcatel telecommunications offices in Paris.

“My goal is to show time in a new and unfamiliar way.”

Alainpers Light artist
The Blue Ring clock: luminous symbols indicate the hours, minutes and seconds.

Alainpers’ light effects are created exclusively with LEDs. “Ever since I visited an exhibition on the reaction kinetics of light when I was 17, I wanted to make objects come alive with light. LEDs are ideal for this purpose because they produce high-quality light, they’re easy to install and have a long service life. A diode only lights up once a day in some of my clocks. Theoretically, the clock could work endlessly.” The LEDs are embedded in steel, metal, glass, crystal, synthetic resins and sometimes also in PVC. They are fixed into place with silicone. Alainpers doesn’t use nuts and bolts; he relies on adhesives. “I use silicone everywhere. It’s perfect for bonding glass, metal and the LEDs.” The two liquid industrial adhesives ELASTOSIL® E43 and E41 have served him well over the past 20 years or so. Both grades are one-component silicone adhesives that cure at room temperature and are therefore easy to use.