Sign of the time

On Monday 1st Feb, and in freezing conditions, Roman Minaev's Digiluck clock was mounted on a wall opposite the National Theatre tram stop in Oslo.


It is a misbehaving digital clock that shows fluxing sequences of nine, mainly four-letter words rather than the time. It also appears to go wrong and plays pong with itself from time to time. Luckily its red led lights are extremely bright, allowing it not only to compete with a whole host of light board advertisements, but also to be seen blinking in the night sky from the panoramic bar on the 21st floor of the SAS hotel a little under a km away. So it can compete in terms of luminance, but what about attention?

Digiluck stems from a smaller version of itself developed for the Electroboutique. Media Art 2.0 project, of which one of the aims is to infiltrate public space and private homes with consumer friendly, readymade media art objects to provide an alternative aesthetic in everyday life. Digiluck does this with ultra bright simplicity and humor, though its vocabulary is somewhat limited by the memory capacity of its microchips.

Digiluck_hell Digiluck_pull Digiluck_pu Digiluck_cool

Words such as HALO, PULL, COOL, LOSE and GOAL appear, flash, transform and reappear intermittently and repetitively such that, after watching for a while, it brings with it a feeling of superficiality - of being locked up in its own system (which of course it is) rather than a "telling" machine in dialogue with the city. On the other hand, should Digiluck simply be taken for its face value - a playful sign of the times?

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