OpenProcessing Link

I feel like I succeeded in making the snowman move smoothly with a rhythm that is not linear, but I just found out that the snowflakes seem to have a “hiccup”. I didn’t notice it when viewed in OpenProcessing. I’ll try to fix it when I have time. 😉



Triple is meant to be experienced first as a triple star system and second as a clock. The large, red star to the bottom left is a sun-like star that has entered it’s supergiant phase . Near the middle, a second sun-like star is earlier in its life and therefore still has its signature yellow color and smaller size. Finally, further away is the center of the triple system. A rapidly spinning blue giant that pulses as its magnetic poles intersect with the camera and then move away. The other, less bright circles are planets and moons trapped in the chaotic motion created by a three-body equation (as seen here: Furthermore, a small asteroid belt is visible in the upper left. As a clock, each fast moving white dot is a tenth of a second, each time the small blue dot fills or the small pale blue dot completes its motion is one second, each time the larger blue dot fills, or the larger pale blue dot completes its motion is one minute, each time the yellow dot completely fills or the pale yellow dot completes its motion is one hour. Each time the orange dot fills or the dark orange dot completes its motion is one day, and each time the red circle completely fills is one year.

I feel like my work was successful in not immediately giving away the fact that it keeps to the human constructs of time units (hours, days, seconds, etc) and instead looking like it reflects a natural phenomenon. This begins a dialogue between the raw nature and physics that this piece denotes, both of which are completely independent of human constructs, and our quanta of time, something completely created and perpetuated by our shared belief in it. It is also successful in relatively clearly denoting time once one knows how to read it. It is however lacking in being able to read how much of a year has been completed as we cannot see the entire circle. I think that I could have also added more interesting motion such as actual orbits instead of just straight lines. Given more time, this is the direction that I would take this project in.


I had many different ideas for this piece, which was ultimately the primary cause of my failure. I spent too much time thinking of new ways of interpreting the prompt and came up with a plethora of half-ideas (which i will list below), but no fully fledged ideas. I am disappointed because I really like this prompt, but I will definitely revisit this prompt and create a nontraditional timepiece at some point in the near future.

My half-ideas:

  • something to do with individual perceptions of time: I wanted a clock that moved as fast as the viewer thought time moved. However, the only way I could come up with to gauge this was for the user to manually put it in, which i really disliked. I wanted it to be less obvious/literal. I did not want them to realize the time was incorrect, which would be impossible if I directly prompted them to provide an input.
  • something to do with the relationship between time and work/play: I thought about making the canvas look like a computer screen with two tabs: One more work/school related(document?) and the other a game. The time at the top left of the screen would increase faster when the game was played and slower when work was being done. I also did not like how literal this was. I think it would be more effective if it were not in p5?… or, if the screen size matched an actual computer screen resolution so it looked more real?
  • a clock that fell asleep: similar design as the previous idea, but the time would stop changing after a long period of no mouse movement, and would continue when the mouse was moved aggressively (to “wake up” the clock)
  • a clock that looks like the clocks used to teach children how to read time: but I didn’t want to use actual roman characters because they are too recognizable, but asemic numbers also look too foreign. The clock hands would move at nonlinear speeds but still end up accurate at each minute/hour.

My final timepiece is extremely basic. I came up with the idea while walking around the Hunt library to try and come up with ideas when I walked past the portrait of the man on the first floor. It felt like he was looking at me sentiently. I then went to create this time piece that looks like a normal painting, but slowly blinks/smiles/looks around at certain points in the day. I think this is an extremely cheap copout response to the prompt, but could perhaps be somewhat effective as an installation (it would be more effective if J.K. Rowling hadn’t led everyone to associate moving paintings with Harry Potter). I am fully aware that this piece is so impressively unimpressive, but one high five I will give myself is that one main goal I had with this project was to make it extremely not clock-looking and I did achieve that.


Sky Clock

The Sky Clock shows an image of the sky every minute, that was captured at that minute. I first wrote a Python script (here) to get photos using the Flickr API that matched the search “sky,” which were then parsed to only use photos with EXIF metadata (to get the actual capture time, not the time the photo was uploaded to Flickr), and then saving into a json with keys for each ‘HH:MM’ time and values with the urls of matching photos. I loaded this json into my p5 sketch to then display an image matching the current time. If there is more than one image for the current time, a random one is chosen.

My hope was this would give a real-time sense of the sky that would shift throughout the day, from sunrise through daytime, sunset, and night. It was in part inspired by this post sent to me by a friend a few months ago:

I think the concept is a poetic contribution to the genre of crowdsourced clocks we saw in examples like The Human Clock, especially if it worked as described above: a shifting image of the sky throughout the day, along with (charmingly imperfect) intrusions of cropped bits of things that are not the sky. Unfortunately, I quickly ran into problems that challenged this vision. I knew 1) that the same time of day will look differently depending on the season and latitude at which is was taken, but did not anticipate 2) getting the actual time a photo was captured is incredibly difficult. Flickr’s API provides a “date_taken” but they also state “The ‘taken’ date represents the time at which the photo has taken. This is extracted from EXIF date if available, else set to the time of upload.” Ok, so to tell if date_taken is the actual time at which the photo was taken, I check if that photo has EXIF data. EXIF data is basically all the metadata you see that comes along with photos, sometimes including GPS coordinates, the camera model it was taken on, and camera settings, as well as a number of date fields. This is where I really got into trouble…

In short, there is NO RELIABLE STANDARD for getting the local time at which a photo was taken. In addition, actually going through all the data to cross-check EXIF data added tons of computation time (it was going to take upwards of 17 hours to process before I killed it).

I put in quite a few hours learning about XML parsing and then trying to figure out the EXIF timezones, and I couldn’t find a way to consistently get the local capture time of an image. I found the best solution I could given the time constraint, but it disrupts that vision of a smoothly shifting sky. Perhaps a lesson is that you can’t have specific of a vision when it comes to crowd-sourced data, or else you need to be prepared to put a lot of time in!


  1. In your blog post, embed at least two images of your clock, showing what it looks like or how it behaves at different times of day. If your clock involves animation, embed an animated GIF or a brief video recording, which you can make with the OpenProcessing screen-recording feature.

(day version: when mouse hovers over center)

(night version: another minute)

The idea for my project stems from the concept of psychological time—how we each experience time differently when watching youtube compared to listening to a boring podcast. Hence, it was my goal to experiment with the movement of circles that move at different speeds and follow different paths (representative of how we experience time differently) but still operate according to the standard time (hours, minutes, and seconds). The outer circles move according to the hour’s hand, aligning every minute. The number of outer rings with which the circles reflect the number of minutes passed in the hour. Hence, when the moving circles align with each other, the rings will experience a shift to welcome the new minute. The inner circles more clearly present the minute hand, with the same workings of the circles that represent the hour hand. When the viewer hovers their mouse over the very inner circle, the surrounding circles will start rotating at a constant angle. I did so to actively demonstrate the interruption of our personal experience with time whenever we check the clock. Finally, the colors of the clock become more monotoned and dormant when it is nighttime.

It was a challenge to find a method for the circles to move at different speeds but still manage to align at a certain time. I also had many ideas that I wanted to experiment with and found it difficult to narrow them down. At the same time, it was difficult to figure out what I could accomplish with p5js given my skills and the time that I have. However, I am happy with how my project turned out as I did a few trials which helped lead the direction to how I wanted my timepiece to look. I’m glad the circles were able to sync nicely and thus able to successfully visualize my concept.

starry – Loop

OpenProcessing link:

I feel that I succeeded in making the design graphic while still giving off the feeling of a grassy landscape, as I liked that I was able to use three colors and still have some sense of depth. I also liked how the viewer is kind of able to tell it’s grass blowing in the wind, but I don’t think the movement was as accurate as I wanted to be. A lot of the process of creating the motion was very guess and check, so I feel that I didn’t have as much control over the design as I wanted and it was very much up to the computer. I also feel like the movement of the grass in the background is a little wonky, and overall the piece doesn’t give off the peaceful / meditative feeling I wanted it to because the movement is jittery.


World Clock/Production Clock/I don’t know how to name my art

this clock traces the sum of 10 vectors with constant but unique lengths and rates of rotation. The ten vectors each represent a watch hand controlled by ten unique rates: [car produced, bike produced, computer produced, baby produced, newspaper circulated, TV sold, phone sold, emails sent, Tweets sent, ton of CO2] per sec. Inspired by the 2D visualization of Fourier transform, this clock can achieve unique looks by tweaking the radius of each vector. Which this particular setting, the clock draws a ring every 12 hours and clears every 24 hours so you can still tell the rough time. The coefficients can be tuned in ways that make it impossible to tell time.

Another set of coefficients:


starry – TimeResearch

I thought the Wikipedia article and book excerpt was interesting because it made me think about how precisely regulated all my activities are. It also was difficult to wrap my head around how our notion of time is essentially an abstract concept and how its definition fluctuates even across different academic fields.

starry – timepiece

Project link :

My project was inspired by the shadows of the tree outside my dorm; I’ve always been interested artistically in how light and shadow change colors depending on the time of day. I thought the clock prompt was appropriate for exploring this concept given the history of timekeeping; I wanted to explore how people in medieval eras thought about time before the move towards accurate and precise timekeeping, how their activities were not divided into rigid blocks of time but more guided by the sun’s position. I didn’t want to include a numerical representation of time, and instead wanted the viewer to be able to interpret the time based off the color of the light and shadow, which are all distinct depending on the time of day. The project’s visuals are mainly created using lerpColor and various blend modes, and the leaves and shadows are created using Perlin noise. The colors lerp through various time periods of the day (morning, afternoon, sunset etc.).

The final project was my third attempt at the piece; my first two attempts were with the WebGL mode and the default 3D primitives, and my second was with Three.js. I ended up switching into 2D because I thought 3D visuals would have less artistic control over the light and shadow. I liked how certain times of day came out in the final result (the evening period from 4PM – 6PM, and the afternoon from 12 – 4PM), and overall I’m happy with the result, but I think some of the colors could be tweaked to be more accurate. I struggled a lot with getting the colors right as well as the visual style of the leaves; I’m still not very happy with how they look. In addition, I didn’t really know what to do with the shadows because they remain the same even though they should change depending on the rotation of the sun, but it was too difficult to calculate that. My main struggle was being unable to determine what was wrong visually with the piece; most of the time I only had a vague sense that something looked bad but was unable to pinpoint what it was exactly.

Video (sped up time)


Sketch on OpenProcessing Sketch on p5.js

Note: You have to press play once yourself on OpenProcessing for some reason. On p5.js it autoplays right on startup.

My clock tells the time of day by playing a song on SoundCloud with that title. I achieved this with a really simple code that pulls a SoundCloud embed code from a 2D array where the first index is the hour and the second index is the minute. So basically, I have 12 arrays each with 60 values. I wasn’t sure what to expect when making this clock, but it reminds me a lot of the lofi music lives on YouTube that help people study. Though the songs never make it past one minute before switching over to a new one unlike the lives that play full songs, I think the feature is a really interesting way to experience the passage of time while working or chilling! Some of the songs have lyrics that match their title, like “It’s 12:43 right now and I can’t sleep” or something like that, which is also a cool way to hear what time it is. I mentioned that timekeeping devices that engage my sense of hearing are my favorite (cuckoo clocks!), and I’m really happy with this exploration of that!

I originally planned on using Spotify, but the Spotify embed didn’t really serve my needs properly. It looked ugly, made the user sign in before listening, only played a 30 second snippet of the song, and wouldn’t even autoplay! It was a nightmare. After some troubleshooting and research, I found that SoundCloud worked a lot better and had the features I had envisioned!

Since I’m so busy this month, I tried to keep this as simple as possible, which totally worked! It took me just about 15 minutes to come up with the structure and make it work. The only flaw with my brilliant plan… I severely underestimated how long it would take to hand pick over 700 songs! There are also a lot of bad songs out there… like, straight up BAD… that I had to sift through! But, I picked songs that I found good and interesting (even if they weren’t my taste). From Russian rap, to Spanish screamo, to just straight up NOISE sometimes, I got to explore really cool genres and pick a good variety for my clock.

With that comes my big disclaimer… a lot of these songs are explicit, so beware. There’s lots of vulgar rap music and songs in languages that I can’t speak so I don’t really know what they’re saying. It feels really irresponsible to make something with pieces of other people’s work that I can’t fully listen to with my time crunch, so if you listen to my clock and hear something that’s not okay, please let me know so I can replace it ASAP!

On the other hand, I did get to pick some songs that were really meaningful, like a tribute to the artist’s friend who passed or a beautiful song about the impact of police brutality. There are funny songs, calming songs, scary (SCREAMING) songs, and I really love that the most about it!