5 pas

Richard Schwarz
5 past 12


The products of the mechanical clock are identical units of time. With them, independently and contrary to the rhythms of nature, production is continuous and its efficiency increases – until it goes berserk. It is time to stop the clocks: The “5 past 12” movement will ensure that as many public clocks as possible are stopped at 5 past 12.

The process is key for this work. The stages of realisation will indicate what it takes or would take to stop the clocks – and reveal the effect of the time we count on. When the clocks finally come to a standstill and a timeless existence can be established, this moment – for as long as possible – will impress upon us how we ‘function’ in time and what prevents us from slowing down or even stopping.

The clock cycle may have brought humanity benefits and progress, but the consequences of the associated use of time are visibly turning into their opposite: perhaps we need to lose our fear of the times ‘standing still’ (when nothing is consumed or produced) in order to save ourselves (as humanity)?

On one day in 2023, therefore, the aim is to stop as many public clocks as possible at 5 past 12.

Note: The imagery used is a variation of the ‘Doomsday Clock’ from the September 1962 cover of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which has set it every year since 1947. Use of the imagery and reference to the Doomsday Clock, does not necessarily constitute the endorsement by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; information on this under https://thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/