Marking Time is an artwork commissioned by FACT for their Time and Motion exhibition.

Marking Time takes the old-fashioned workers’ time clock and remixes it with the suitably retro mathematical Game of Life, created by John Horton Conway in 1970. Creative technologist Adrian McEwen has hacked an antique time clock, introducing the tools of the maker culture within which he works and transforming the time clock from an instrument of strict time management to one of new potential to make and play.

Each day a new game plays out, driven by the punch of the time clock. The mechanical action of the clock is combined with a computer which drives a nearby monitor—and also replayed on the LED screen at the front of the FACT building—to visualise the Game of Life grid and move it on a turn every time a timecard is stamped.