The Corpus Clock was invented and designed by Dr John Taylor who brought together in its creation an exception team of craftsmen, engineers and skilled technicians. The clock’s face is a rippling gold disc, about 5 feet diameter, and displays the time by opening individual slits in the clock face backlit with blue LEDs instead of hands.
The dominating feature of the clock is a sculpture of a devouring metal insect which looks like a grasshopper or locust. The sculpture is actually the clock’s escapement. Taylor calls this beast the Chronophage (literally “time eater”, from the Greek). It moves its mouth, appearing to “eat up” the seconds as they pass, and occasionally it “blinks”. The creature’s constant motion produces an eerie grinding sound that suits its task. The hour is tolled by the sound of a chain clanking into a small wooden coffin hidden in the back of the clock.
Below the clock is an inscriptionÂ mundus transit et concupiscentia eius (“the world passeth away, and the lust thereof”).
Conceived as a work of public art, the Chronophage reminds viewers in a dramatic way of the inevitable passing of time. Taylor deliberately designed it to be “terrifying”: “Basically I view time as not on your side. He’ll eat up every minute of your life, and as soon as one has gone he’s salivating for the next.” Others have described it as “hypnotically beautiful and deeply disturbing”.
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