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January 30th 2013 21:00

I have received many nicknames in my lifetime but none have pleased me as much as being called Catwoman and Clockwoman. The Catwoman tag is pretty obvious. The Clock one is what one of the Museum of Contemporary Art staff likes to call me as every time she saw me she would be reminded of the many times I went to the MCA just to watch Christian Marclay’s The Clock.

The same person exchanged names with me before telling me she also thinks of me as the Clock Lady. I certainly prefer that to Bag Lady which is what I’ve often been called due to my tendency to carry a lot of stuff as I hate to be unprepared. So in my bag I have my umbrella, medication, cardigan, train timetables, a bottle of water, food…

“I wonder how much it would cost to buy a copy of The Clock,” said another MCA staffer who also likes to chat to me about that installation.

“About $450,000,” I said, having read this in Wikipedia. “I could use my unit to get a second mortgage to pay for it. It actually costs more than what I paid for my unit.” Come to think of it, is The Clock on DVD? I doubted it as I knew that DVDs can only store so much data and, with a running time of twenty four hours, this sounded unlikely especially when it played uninterrupted at the MCA. I then asked her.

“It’s on a digital file,” she said. “Actually, two. There was one file with the scenes while the other one contained the sound. In order for The Clock to run the two had to be synchronised perfectly and on our opening day, we got complaints that the file kept replaying scenes that had just been shown but we fixed that.”

“But what is a digital file? Is it like a computer file?”


Oh, wow, to pay $450,000 for two digital files. I wonder how large they would be. Could they fit on a memory stick or would I need an external hard drive?

“I think you should contact the artist and tell him how much you love The Clock and how you watched the entire twenty four hours of it,” she continued.

“I don’t think he will be impressed. In interviews he has said The Clock is not intended to be watched as a marathon. It’s supposed to begin when you start watching it and end when you feel ready to leave.”

That said, I recently had a dream that The Clock was being shown on channel 7 but with commercial breaks. In the dream I stood in front of the TV, filming my favourite parts on my digital camera which would be absurd as in reality, I would have recorded it to the good old fashioned VHS as my DVD recorder has carked it. In any case, the VHS player has better reception.

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