Winding Time

Chengchao Zhu

Is time absolute? Why do people perceive time differently? Is your time the same as mine? Inspired by Einstein’s theory of relativity, Winding Time is an experimental installation that investigates personal time and space. How do speed and movement affect our individual perception of time?


We think of time as a measurement because of its absoluteness. Consequently, we let time decide our life choices; we encounter endless deadlines; we are busy fighting with time. While Einstein’s theory of relativity has given us a new perspective to consider time as a changing element around us, our perception of time is not only dynamic but personal. People have their personal timelines because of their relative speed to others and different interactions within space.

Winding Time is an experimental interactive installation trying to visualize how people with different speed have different timelines and how their timelines demonstrate their movements spread in a particular space. What the installation showed could consider as a short recent personal timeline trace which was affected by their movement and speed.

Winding Time invites people to wind up a clockwork motor to reveal a stretched personal timeline that will be generated on video gradually. People will be able to observe their past timeline and also could compare theirs to others.