Capturing Time

Eli Whitney Museum

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The 24th Leonardo Challenge

The Leonardo Challenge: Capturing Time

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It's. About. Time.

What Time Is It?

Press two fingers on your heart. Count the pulses. You are a clock ticking at about 60 beats per minute. You are a clock that times everything. You are the clock that matters.

Some of us can remember when mechanical clockfaces were round, when you had to wind an alarm to wake you in the morning, when you could clock out to sever the tendrils of work and end the day. Now we carry illuminated clocks that can time shift work and entertainment, that connect us to the world all 24 hours without reference to sunlight and dark. Scientists are alarmed by these unnatural rhythms. Artists wonder what time means. Do the hands of time nurture us or do they subdue us?

Leonardo's Diary

Leonardo's Notebooks are a diary – a daybook. The pages are undated – an urgent to do list without the comfort or calibration of time. Still, time is ever-present. Leonardo draws sundials, water cocks, and the new mechanical clocks that will reorder the world. He proposes inventions in drawings with two views overlaid as if to animate their construction. His eye and hand stop time. He catches the shape of a splash mid-air, mid-second. He proposes a playful alarm clock to rouse him before the rooster crows. He wrestles with time. He carries the Mona Lisa with him for 4 years before he can call her finished. He tarries with a commissioned bronze horse for 19 years before he abandons it. He addresses time as a thief of everything.

The Challenge

The Challenge is to capture the markers of time that give it meaning.

Time is the most commonly used noun in the English language and yet it is elusive. Clocks and calendars tell time, but rarely its meaning. Consider the cast off watches too precious to abandon that inhabit the depths of drawers and still remember the last minute and hour of their service. Consider the lines on a doorframe that your grandmother marked atop your head each year to remember your growing. Consider the daughters of time: Anticipation and Flight that stretch and compress experience. Consider colors that change in the first light of dawn.

Time is omnipresent and elusory. Seize it. Or flow with it. Play with it. Disguise it. Or unmask it. Be timely or timeless. Capture personal meanings. Embrace time with the clock that beats in your chest.

The Benefit

Leonardo da Vinci painted with unrivaled vision, explored science and modern logic and invented with pure imagination. The Leonardo Challenge celebrates one of his inventions – improvisational creativity. One hundred artists, designers and playful spirits will transform a common subject – this year, time – with wit, whimsy and artistry.

The April 26th benefit will revel in those artists' visions. Through their generosity, and yours, the evening will support workshops and outreach to train a next generation to explore the world with adventurous immediacy.

The Trains Depart on Time(lapse)

Our intricate 30 foot, half ton A.C, Gilbert Train layout is transported to its off season lair in 2 minutes, 30 seconds.

Actually it takes 4 hours and 20 Apprentices.It will return Friday, November 24 at 12 noon.

Time lapse video filmed and edited by Apprentices Jonah Heiser and Connor Larouque.


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