August 30th, 2023: Munch, Oslo, MSI

August 30th, 2023: Munch, Oslo, MSI


Full Moon
Summer Night by Edvard Munch (1902-1903)

Hello, and welcome back to The Present.

This is the monthly update to an ongoing story into the nature of time. I'm your host, Scott Thrift, and this five-minute issue features:

  • The Oslo Experience (3 minutes): I share a passionate film recommendation, tell you about a Norwegian artist, and give you the gist of the talk I presented in Oslo.
  • The Assembly Firm Transition (1 minutes): I will update you on the status of our assembly partner and the relocation of all the clock parts.
  • The Future of The Present (1 minute): You'll glimpse our new space and learn what to expect in the coming months.


The Oslo Experience

Heading East. Escaping the Past. The dark part is the edge of night as it recedes across the North Atlantic.

I know very little about Norway. The only film I've seen in Norwegian is a biopic about the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, and it's easily one of the most beautifully crafted, original films I've ever seen.

I first saw it in 2004 when I walked into a screening at Cinema Village in Manhattan. I floated out of the theater three and a half short hours later in a lofty state of rich world cinema induced bliss.

I've now seen everything by Peter Watkins and formed a lifelong love of Munch as a direct result of seeing the eponymous film three or four times by now. Munch's most famous painting is, of course, The Scream. It's not just his most famous painting; it's one of the most famous paintings.

Sold to a private buyer over the phone in 2012 for $120,000,000.

Munch's philosophy on his artistic process is laid bare in his statement, "I do not paint what I see - but what I saw."

That's revolutionary thinking in the history of painting and creativity in general. Before this emotionally charged approach, most paintings were of "things" through the lens of "things as they are," not as they seem.

Oranges, Nuts, and Figs by Lilly Martin Spencer - 1869

Realism had been the holy grail until a handful of artists like Munch began to enrich the frame with ecstatic passion.

The Sun by Edvard Munch (1909)

Munch didn't just change how painters painted; he helped change how we feel about our feelings.

Here Edvard practically creates the selfie - Self Portrait 'á la marat' - 1909

And now there is, appropriately, a Museum in Oslo in his honor.

The Munch Museum in Oslo.

That's mostly all I knew about Norway until being asked to speak about The Present at a small conference on temporal plurality called Lifetimes, held at the University of Oslo.

The Day I Presented The Present
Right this way to the Lifetimes Conference at the Universitetet I Oslo.
The face of a man about to bump into someone.
"Hear Ye. Hear Year."
The New Photo I am Pointing At


I talked for fifteen minutes.


I can give you the gist in thirty seconds.
I spoke about the problem of our time.


The problem of our time, is our time. We simply don't have enough of it.
I proposed a solution to this problem.
More time.



I framed the hundreds of testimonials as an informal longitudinal study on time perception.


I identified a trio of themes on how The Present has reportedly made people feel.


The Present provides contrast in how we measure time, nurturing a sense of surprise and renewal.
A broader perspective on time permits owners of The Present to reevaluate what is important in their lives, and clarify what is not.


And most commonly, The Present invites a more nuanced relationship with the natural world.


I wrapped it all up by passing around The Present Year and fielding questions.

The lively discussion that followed was as exciting as sharing the talk and it all felt like a step in the right direction.

The stunning steps at the National Gallery in Oslo.

One of the draws of the trip was the chance to meet a luminary in the field of critical time studies, Dr. Michelle Bastian, a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in surveying owners who've lived with The Present to research her new book. I'm looking forward to connecting her with some of you soon.

I also enjoyed meeting Asbjorn, who has supported me for many years. His Moon timepiece travelled with me on the plane to complete the trio. Here he is using scissors on his Swiss knife to open the package.

On my way back to Burlington, VT I stopped by to visit Josh, the engineer, and was pleased to see our original test movements from 2021 perched up in his new place, all in sync.

The Assembly Firm Transition

The Scope of Work was signed last week, and I am proud to announce we officially now have an assembly partner until at least August 2024.

Between yesterday and this morning, 14,179 lbs (6431.4862 kg) of clock components were picked up and transported to MSI.

MSI Bound

The Future of The Present

Last week, I signed a one-year lease on a small 120 sq ft space where I can continue to assemble in conjunction with MSI as we gradually shift assembly of all nine design editions to them over the year.

120 Sq Ft Clock Shop

We can move things from our current space to the new one on September 15th. The plan is to put enough inventory there to continue making timepieces without feeling too cramped.

Just enough space to make time.
A New Dawn

As always, I appreciate your support, understanding, and patience as I do my best to deliver this ten ton work of temporal art, and keep you up to date on the progress. In time, Scott Thrift

PS. I've left the "dark mode" edition of my site behind and would love to know what you think about the new look.

Choose a More Meaningful Moment
Ingmar Bergman called it a "work of genius" 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.2 on IMDB. It's informative, dazzling, and worth your time.

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