The tracking of time has occupied people for millennia for numerous reasons, including the observation of lunar cycles for the planting of crops, calculation of the position of stars relative to time for navigation, and now, use of the clock and calendar functions on modern smartphones to maintain schedules. Aside from these practical uses, we also use time in a psychological sense to obtain distance from or to hasten the occurrence of an event, crossing off days as they pass with relief or anticipation. Our tracking of time is a bit like a religion. Time gives us a structure, an order, for understanding our world, day-to-day, and beyond.
Date Dial provides a means for tracking time. It functions as a calendar. Six rings or dials of stainless steel, etched with numbers, represent, from the top down, the months, days and years. As the viewer turns the dials around the column, dates arrive and pass in the rectangular metal sights. The viewer can use the dials and sights to set a date. While the date set is known to the public, its significance to the viewer remains private. And, the date is forgotten or erased by the action of another viewer moving the dials and setting a different date, reminding us that time applies equally to all – no one has any greater claim.
Date Dial is currently installed in Salina, Kansas, as part of the Salina Sculpture Tour 2017.