Safwat Saleem
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Cool Clock, Ahmed

Made in collaboration with Chad Musch and Jen Indovina.

Cool Clock, Ahmed is an installation that requires audience participation

Cool Clock, Ahmed is an installation that requires audience participation

An annoyingly loud alarm sounds every thirty minutes and keeps going until an audience member presses the red button.

Pressing the red button drops a heavy anvil on the alarm clock, crushing it and, in the process, turning off the alarm.

Pressing the red button drops a heavy anvil on the alarm clock, crushing it and, in the process, turning off the alarm.

The audience is then invited to view the insides of the alarm clock.

The audience is then invited to view the insides of the alarm clock.

The installation is reset every 30 minutes.

The installation is reset every 30 minutes.

Chronomentrophobia: a fear of clocks

Chronomentrophobia: a fear of clocks

When 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed’s teacher reported him for bringing a homemade clock to school, she based her fears on the way the clock looked. She confused the clock for a bomb, and her inability to tell the difference between the two led to Ahmed’s unnecessary arrest.

This could all have been avoided had Ahmed’s teacher been more familiar with what a modern clock looks like on the inside.  Hollywood and television programs have also played a role in America’s growing chronomentrophobia (fear of clocks) by associating bombs with digital clocks.

The installation is an attempt to help us get over our fear of clocks.  By destroying what we fear and exposing clock innards for all to see, we can begin to get over our chronomentrophobia, one destroyed clock at a time.

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