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Final Video

The booklet


Artist statement – Emotional Time

Time has long been an intangible dimension in our life. Time is non-stretchable, it never changes. However, sometimes we feel time flies, sometimes we feel it passes too slow. Are clocks on earth emotional? No, we think it depends on our subjective perception.

Our perception towards time affects our emotion directly, because limited time is one of the sources of pressure in our life. For example, our working schedule would affect our sense of time. When we have a lot of time, we feel leisure. But due to the fact that time is invaluable, people always regard time as their property. Utilise time to the full is good to us, but if we waste the time, we would feel guilty.

In some situation, we have plenty of time for the jobs on hand. We tend to work hard, and we try to enjoy. As we are not under pressure, and we feel good as working is regarded as meaningful, good to ones’ prospects, at this stage, we feel time passes normally as usual.

When deadlines are approaching, we feel nervous and stressful. Ones’ abilities to deal with pressure varies. Pressure may do good to some people when they feel pressure is a kind of motivation. But it may also do harm to ones’ effectiveness of working if they feel the tasks become more difficult under pressure.

After all, time is a standard. Time never changes.

Our installation includes a constant tic-tac clock sound, a booklet and a clock.

The booklet is designed to let the user to experience the emotional changes of them in the three stages of working processes.
The first task for users is to draw freely on the plain paper. This is the most easy task, but meaningless. The clock rotate anti-clockwisely.
The second task for users is to write some visible words on the black paper. This is a difficult task as there is no space on the fully black paper. At this stage, when users are thinking what to write (this is to visualise the second stage, when people still have plenty of time for work), the clock rotate smoothly and clockwisely.When users write (finally, they have to do the harsh task for the deadline), the clock rotates in a struggle manner. The pointer keeps shaking.

The clock visualise people’s mental status at different stages. We compress the time in our work by designing the clock in 24-hour per a round. It only has one pointer, we feel the time to be more intangible and as unstable as our mind, due to the inaccurate division of time .

The tic-tac clock sound reminds people the fact that time never changes.

Component list

Arduino UNO + USB

Breadboard + Jumping Wire

Servo Motor  (Futaba S3003)

Computer (with Arduino + Processing)


Pencil (8B)

Smooth paper

Paper clips x2

– Foam Board
– Number Labels
– Plastic sheet (to ensure smooth rotation of the pointer)
– Black color paper

– AA Glue
– Tap
– Wire
– Cutter
– Screwdriver
– Multi-Meter



When user is not writing  (or when user is writing on a clean paper), the clock rotate anti-clockwisely.
When user tends to write, the clock rotate clockwisely, smoothly.
When user is writing (the pencil keeps connecting and disconnecting), the clock rotate in a struggle manner.


As sounds from the speaker of the Mac computer is not loud enough, we use an amplifier.

Make the clock and the piece of paper

The Clock
– In our design, time is compressed. The clock is a 24-hour one.
– The pointer of the clock is controlled by the rotating shaft of the servo.

The piece of paper
– a smooth paper (with graphite in the positions at where you clip) is preferred for better connectivity.
pic 1. 
pic 2.

With the pencil connecting the circuit, write in any area on pic 1. or the clean area on pic 2. would get different rotating behavior of the clock comparing with writing on the dark area on pic 2.
(For the booklet, pencil marks are at the back of the paper for a better outlook)

Pencil potentiometer

Now, we use the pencil potentiometer instead of the crochet stretch sensor.

We need:
– pencil (the softer, the better conductivity, we use 8B)
– paper clip x2 (metal)
– wires
– paper
– multi-meter for testing

As graphite is semi-conducting, similar to electric wire, distance would affect resistance.
Simply attach the wire to the graphite part of the pencil would do.

*Attach wires to the two clips in the same way.

We test the difference of resistance due to the length. The range of difference if wide.

Arduino Code

Here is the Code in Arduino

Basically , we used the servo.h


#include <Servo.h>

Servo myservo;

int potpin = 0; // analog pin used to connect the “potentiometer”

int val; // variable to read the value from the analog pin

void setup()

{    myservo.attach(9); // attaches the servo on pin 9 to the servo object   



void loop()

{    val = analogRead(potpin); // reads the value of the “potentiometer”


val = map(val, 0, 1023, 0, 360); // scale it to use it with the servo (value between 0 and 360)  

myservo.write(val); // sets the servo position according to the scaled value   

delay(25); // waits for the servo to get there



Processing Code_Constant Tic-Tac Clock Sound


import processing.serial.*;

import ddf.minim.*;

AudioPlayer player;
Minim minim;

void setup()

minim = new Minim(this);

// load a file, give the AudioPlayer buffers that are 1024 samples long
player = minim.loadFile(“song.mp3”, 2048);
// play the file

void draw () {
// everything happens in the serialEvent()

void stop()
//close Minim audio classes when it’s done



Crochet stretch sensor ( NOT USED FINALLY )

We use:
– Thin conducting wire
– Thin elastic band
– Wool yarn
– Crochet hook – size 5/6mm

As the length of wire would affect its resistance, the longer the wire, the higher the resistance, and vice versa.
However, after we finish making the crochet stretch sensor (which is for user to “compete with time”/”struggle with time”),
we find the range of difference of resistance is not too narrow, so it can’t affect the motion of rotation of the servo.

So, we finally give up using this.

Processing _ Trial Control sound from arduino data ( NOT USED FINALLY )

This code is for control the speed of clock sound by the input from serial port.
But we finally haven’t use this, as when processing is running, the input from serial port shown on the serial monitor become unstable.

import processing.serial.*;

Serial myPort; // The serial port

import ddf.minim.*;

AudioPlayer player1;
AudioPlayer player2;
Minim minim;

void setup () {
minim = new Minim(this);
player1 = minim.loadFile(“song.mp3”, 2048);
player2 = minim.loadFile(“song2.mp3”, 2048);

// play the file
// List all the available serial ports
// I know that the first port in the serial list on my mac
// is always my Arduino, so I open Serial.list()[0].
// Open whatever port is the one you’re using.
myPort = new Serial(this, Serial.list()[0], 9600);
// don’t generate a serialEvent() unless you get a newline character:
void draw () {
// everything happens in the serialEvent()

void serialEvent (Serial myPort) {
// get the ASCII string:
String inString = myPort.readStringUntil(‘\n’);

if (inString != null) {
// trim off any whitespace:
inString = trim(inString);
// convert to an int and map to the screen height:
float inByte = float(inString);
float sound =inByte;
sound = map(sound, 0, 500, 0, 1023);

if (sound >=0){

if (sound >=500){

void stop()
// always close Minim audio classes when you are done with them


Modify the 60 degrees rotation servo to continuous rotation (Futaba 3003)

Step 1: Disassemble the servo

Step 2: Lift the gear up

Step 3: Remove the small stop from the main shaft


Step 4: Remove the slots inside the main shaft

Step 5: Place the gears to their original position and Reattach the screws

The servo is now ready to rotate continuously.


We feel…
– time passes slowly and sometimes quickly
– it depends on what we are doing

When we are doing nothing:
– we feel relax
– sometimes we feel guilty, as time passes meaninglessly.

When we are working leisurely:
– we feel relax
– we enjoy working without pressure, everything seem to go smoothly.

When we are hurrying for the deadlines:
– pressure drives us crazy.
– we worry we don’t have enough time for work, but we want the harsh time pass quickly. It’s contradictory. (It’s like we struggle with time…)

– to present the emotional changes of people towards deadlines/limited time/in their working process.
– with interaction (affect visual and acoustical behavior of the installation) to demonstrate the changes of emotion

Visual presentation:
– Clock (1-24, 1 pointer > time is compressed) (continuous rotation)
– Movement Sensor ( x )
– Crochet Stretch Sensor ( ! )
– Pencil potentiometer


deadlinessssss / nervous / time’s running out / heavy workload / document / emotional / stressful / rubber band / stretch / effort / vent temper / scream / crazy / tick-tock clock sound / compete / struggle / unpredictable / holiday mood / thinking / time waisting / definition of time / meaningful time / relax …

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