Kitchen Time

20 Feb

This week your friends at Catalysis Projects introduce the second in our series of new columns – brief notes  from the “lost and found” desks of our Core and Resident Artists. In these posts, our artists offer a glimpse into one of their interdisciplinary, collaborative projects, including artifacts from the flotsam and jetsum that litter their creative spaces. This week features our Core Artist composer Veronika Krausas’s musing about TIME.

Composers are constantly trying to evade the unstoppable regularity of time. We think about how to make time seem to slow or to go backwards or speed up, how to regroup time into different beats and meters or avoid those entirely. It’s interesting that on a personal level this has infiltrated my daily life.

No two clocks or time-keeping mechanisms that I own are ever set to the same time. My digital radio-alarm clock was purchased when I was a teenager – it’s brown and huge and has followed me from house to house over the years because, although it’s quite ugly, it always works. I set it 5 minutes faster so that I can accommodate the early morning snooze button ritual. The back-up, battery-powered little Radio Shack travel clock, that long ago lost its cover, is also not set at the precise time – usually 6 minutes faster so that the radio alarm clock can slowly let me wake up before the really annoying beeping starts.

My car clock I usually set about 5 minutes faster to make sure I’m on time for appointments. But it seems to slowly but progressively get one minute faster every few months. Maybe this is my car trying to help keep my brain agile so I have to continually calculate the proper time each time I’m driving. Venturing into the kitchen, on the wall is a 15-year-old-kitchen wall clock from Ikea. In the last few years it started to have its own mind. Towards the end of ‘its life’ it was mostly stopped, but sometimes it started clicking forward at a normal pace and once I even saw it click backwards. Basically, the time was never correct and the time on the clock became officially known as kitchen time. Venturing into the kitchen for many months, I always had the feeling I can only liken to jetlag. Unlike the car clock, where complicated mathematical calculations can be made based on the prior day to determine the actual time, such constants were never present in the kitchen. The kitchen clock had its own chaotic system. The last time I came back from Europe and was really physiologically jet-lagged, the added effect of kitchen time started to really screw with my mind and the perpetual time jet-lag that I was now continually experiencing was becoming a bit much.

So, I reset the car clock back to 5 minutes faster, the archaic radio-alarm clock is now set 3 minutes faster and the back-up travel, battery-powered travel alarm clock is 4 minutes faster (can’t give up my one minute snooze with the radio before the beeping), and I ordered a new kitchen clock on so now I don’t have that jet-lagged feeling when I go into the kitchen. The era of kitchen time has passed … for now.

PS:  Just noticed that since I’ve had the kitchen clock showing ‘kitchen time’ for so long, I still never quite trust the time I see on the new clock!


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