The Enigmatic Face of Time - Wacker Chemie AG

The Enigmatic Face of Time

From Atomic Clocks to Sundials

It takes about twelve hours for the adhesive to dry completely. But then it lasts forever.

His studio functions mainly as a place for developing ideas and reflecting on time. “The subject is multi-faceted and has an inherent vitality. Time is ever changing and has a fascinating history – beginning with sundials right up to modern atomic clocks.” At the moment he is working on a clock that reflects the position of the moon in relation to the sun. “It’s about where the moon is visible at a given time. I’m interested in the position of the earth, the sun and the moon in relation to one another – in terms of latitude and longitude.” It is evident that Alainpers has internalized time, his subject, and approaches it from a scientific perspective.

He has acquired the requisite knowledge over the years. Alainpers is actually an electrical engineer by profession. After completing his studies, he worked in aviation, which was followed by a career as an industrial designer. “This job change was a catalyst in my life. In the industrial sector, you work with narrow and rigid constraints. Design is freer.” But he still felt that the performance specifications in this sector placed too many restrictions on him. Originally from central France, the engineer then enrolled at an art school and started his own business once he had qualified. “I have enjoyed creating objects ever since I was a child. Now the only boundaries are those set by technology and myself.

Considerable Leeway from Clients

WACKER’s silicone adhesive forms a completely transparent bond so that nothing detracts from the light effect.

From the beginning, his clients generally gave him a great deal of freedom. Many projects came to fruition, but many did not. “The 1980s were better when it came to installing large-scale works.” Now he works more on smaller sculptures for individuals, like the “Blue Ice Clock” LED clock made from a rough wheel of crystal. With its shimmering blue hues and white LEDs, this beautifully shaped object is representative of Alainpers’ design goals: “My work hinges on three points: the beauty of the object, the unlimited freedom in creating the form and the vitality of the time I wish to bring to life.”

On the opposite wall, a ray of light illuminates the passage of a second in time traveling across the monochrome wall images. When, and in which of the four images the next ray will appear, is a mystery, even to the inventor himself. “In this piece, I have set the timer for the seconds at random,” explains the designer, laughing. Sometimes even time itself escapes from its stringent parameters and enjoys the freedom Alain Persouyre has sought for so long.