Hironao Tsuboi’s Faceless Watch
Boys! Girls! Friends! Lovers!
I guess it’s kind of clever to take LED technology and remove the watch face altogether. Hironao Tsuboi certainly thinks so. i’d actually never heard of the man, and from the picture, I get this sense that I might not want to spend more than about twenty seconds at a time with him. The smile is just a little too pursed, and the left bang just a little too droopy over the left eye. yes, I understand that he’s a designer– one who came up with an umbrella with a built-in stand, which umbrella makers should have thought of thirty years ago anyway, but so it goes. The picture here lies a little, as all accounts I’ve read of the watches say that they do, in fact, tell time quite easily and accurately. If only the display pics that are available would show us that, because right now all that I’m seeing from the pieces are quirky art without much purpose.
The lines among pretentious, profound, and lazy all blur at one point or another when it comes to considering art. I know an artist based out of Chicago, for instance, who once did an entire show based on pieces of crayon and cardboard in broken circles and semi-circles. The artyist will, for now, remain anonymous. These were Crayola crayons, friends, melted down and re-shaped into ugly lumps along the fronts and edges of cardboard cut-outs of circles. Every once in a while in that particular show, the artist would put a concentric circle into the middle of one of the cut-outs and call it something like “ireland”, and always with a lower case spelling.(it added variety that way.) The only interest the show sparked in me were the rationalizations that the Crayola artist had written in the display book for that show. Rationalizations always come far, far easier to people after they’ve taken MFA classes based around this very skill: your work can be as silly and useless as you want it to be, just so long as you can weave the right tales about it.
But as long as these watches work, the concept is pretty clever. My only issue with the conventional metal wrist watch, though, is comfort, and considering that Tuboi has elected to stay with the least comfortable of all watch styles here, my guess is that he’s not too concerned about that. The next time I find myself in a Tribeca bistro I’ll make sure to keep my eyes open for the flashing lights.