John Cayley, with photographs and additional production by Douglas Cape


wotclock is a transient cybertext, a poem that both changes with each passing second, minute, and hour, and a fully functional clock in which language marks the passage of time. The work brings together elements of two other works by Cayley, the time-based algorithms of his speaking clocks and Douglas Cape's evocative images from What We Will.

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Author description: wotclock is a QuickTime "speaking clock." This clock was originally developed for the TechnoPoetry Festival curated by Stephanie Strickland at the Georgia Institute of Technology in April 2002. It is based on material from What We Will, a broadband interactive drama produced by Giles Perring, Douglas Cape, myself, and others from 2001 on. The underlying concepts and algorithms are derived from a series of "speaking clocks" that I made in HyperCard from 1995 on. It should be stressed that the clock showcases Douglas Cape's superb panoramic photography for What We Will.

Instructions: After loading, wotclock runs continually as a time-piece. The numerals that traditionally circle the clock face are replaced by letters, and these letters are used to construct phrases in the center that tell the time. The first two words tell the hour, while the second two tell the minute, the seconds being counted on the clock face itself. On the minute, a new photograph from What We Will is displayed. Clicking and dragging the upper pane or lower pane rotates the panorama.

Previous publication: As stated above, an early version of wotclock was installed in 2002. The current version was first issued in November 2005 and was made publicly available at Cayley's site, http://www.shadoof.net/in.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.