An image of an artwork.

Sara Kerr

Graduate Fellowships, 2015 - 2016
Mills College

Artist Statement

The question that drives my work is: how do we measure time and how do our devices for measurement fail us? We are surrounded by clocks of all shapes and sizes and while a clock can tell us what time it is, it can’t tell us what time is itself, or what the passage of time feels like. I use photography, video, and installation to explore the idea of a time-keeping device and to investigate the ways that our personal perceptions and experiences of time differ from standard clock-time. Some recent projects have included: scanning old clock parts in the basement of a clock repair shop, making photograms of loading circles in motion, and having people make “one minute” self portraits based on their perception of how long a minute lasts. I also make installations that use the essential elements of a clock: simple, repetitive and constant motion.

While At Headlands

While at Headlands, I will be continuing my research into clocks that depend upon features of our natural world to measure time- devices such as sundials, water clocks, hourglasses, and pendulums. I plan to use features of the Headlands’ natural environment — the light, the tide and the wind — to make devices that measure how time passes in this specific place. This might mean building a kind of water clock based on the Headlands’ tidal patterns, making spaces that function as sundials, or building clocks that are activated by changes in temperature and/or wind pressure. My aim for this year is to learn about ways to measure time in accordance with natural phenomena and to work towards creating installations that invite viewers to consider their experience of time passing.