Kickstarter: The Present Is Half Art Project, Half Meditation On Time

It may not be immediately obvious that you’re looking at a clock, but that may just be the point that creator Scott Thrift was going for. The Present is what Thrift calls an “annual clock” — it takes an entire year for its single hand to sweep across its psychedelic face.

Ah, but there’s a method to the apparent madness. As the weeks and months pass, the Present’s hand passes over color gradients that correspond to the seasons. The pure white of the winter solstice slowly melts into the green of spring, which in turn gives way to the vivid yellow of summer and the vibrant red of autumn.

Speaking in purely practical terms, The Present is sort of useless. You won’t use it when trying to make an appointment, or catch a train, or any of the other things that we rely on clocks to help us do. What it does do (or aims to do, anyway) is force to us step back and stop looking at time in terms as fine-grained as minutes and hours and days. After all, how can we live in the present when the present slowly and constantly ebbs into the past?

The Present has already blown past its $24,000 funding goal, but there’s still time for you contemplative types to get in on the ground floor. A donation of $120 locks you in for one of the first Presents to be made, which are slated to be released sometime in February.