Dezeen Magazine

The hands of Maarten Baas' Schiphol clock are drawn on in real time

Dutch designer Maarten Baas' giant Real Time Schiphol timepiece replaces traditional clock hands with a 12-hour-long video performance (+ movie).

The three-metre-high clock has been installed in Amsterdam's Schiphol airport and features a film showing Baas drawing and redrawing the clock's hands with a roller and paint.

Real Time by Maarten Baas

Intended to portray a "hyper-realistic representation of time", the video took exactly 12 hours to film and takes as long to watch in its entirety.

Baas wore blue overalls for the film, in a reference to the uniforms of the many staff responsible for cleaning the airport.

The timepiece is housed in a stainless steel box, attached to a ladder "to enable this imaginary man in his blue overalls to enter the clock".

"He has a red bucket and a yellow cleaning cloth and he is cleaning up after the hands of time, after which he creates a new minute, every time again," added the designer.

Real Time by Maarten Baas

The clock is an addition to Baas' Real Time series, which dates back to 2009. It so far includes an oversized clock face with hands made from rubbish being moved by sweepers, and a grandfather clock with a video loop in place of a face.

"Real Time is a term that is used in the film industry," said the designer, who recently unveiled plans for a tree-grown armchair and a giant logo that would change colour according to the seasons.


"It means that the duration of a scene portrays exactly the same time it took to film it. I play with that concept in my Real Time clocks by showing videos where the hands of time are literally moved in real time."

Other unusual time-keeping devices covered by Dezeen include a clock that uses gradually fading leaves in place of hands and a timepiece filled with magnetic ferrofluid.