A clepsydra is a water clock – one of the oldest methods of measuring time. In ancient Persia the water clock was used to ensure fair irrigation practices. Two full time clock managers were tasked with monitoring the flow to ensure equal distribution of water to different farms via underground irrigation channels. In ancient Greece, the clepsydra was used to time speeches. Mud or silt would be added to slow the flow of the water, which is where the term “don’t muddy the water” originates.
Clepsydra is a participatory installation in two parts: Generator and Clepsydra. Generator consists of an altered wooden desk, an integrated steel basin, a steel cup, a wooden bowl and a 22″ screen. When a participant pours water into the bowl, it runs through a hole in the bottom and activates a film of cogs turning on the monitor. The film plays for the length of time the water takes to run through the bowl. Clepsydra is a steel bath and stand which is filled with water. In / on the water are ceramic bowls with holes in the bottom. Participants place the bowls on the surface of the water, where they gradually fill up and ultimately sink.