Commonplace Studio

part of the exhibition Clock. Light. Mirror.


Hot Clock
Commonplace Studio’s Hot Clock remediates the standard segmented digital clock with two distinct yet interdependent materials: a thermo-conductive plate of precious metal, and a colour lacquer that disappears with warmth. The brass digits, which seem to grow out of the field of colour like a reverse oxidation, are a digitally controlled heating of select areas of the clock. The end result is a captivating continuum of material transformation that reacts in sync to clock time. Courtesy of Victor Hunt.

Clock. Light. Mirror.
The premise of the show is seemingly simple: A clock, a light, and a mirror. As a product grouping, these three serviceable objects could not be more commonplace. Yet the clock, light and mirror are persistent subjects of experimentation and remediation by contemporary makers. The design practices of Commonplace Studio, Teresa van Dongen and Studio Sabine Marcelis bring three new examples to a long list, but also aim to argue why the clock, light, and mirror are in a class of their own. While their ubiquity in daily life has normalised their inherent powers, there is no doubt that time, illumination, and reflection remain powerful concepts to contemplate.

Living Lamps
Teresa van Dongen’s Spark of Life is an artificial light powered by living bacteria. The project uses electrochemically active bacteria that emit small currents as a means to generate electricity for domestic use. Considering the revolutionary change that came with electrification, van Dongen both makes and muses about the new relationships that will be formed when lights are no longer fed but the grid, but by its user. 

Real Virtuality
Studio Sabine Marcelis's Deux mirrors consists of two self-reflecting, semi-translucent mirrors that are held in place by a high-polished colour block. The two elements offer a shift in perspective by create diverse intersections of the architectural space. Juxtaposed within a historically decadent space, these engineered surfaces aim to show that contrary to popular belief, contemporary buildings need not lack a sense of romanticism in their build-up.