Time Pieces

Our Polite Society

The work of Our Polite Society investigates typography and graphic design, while putting these media in close relation to broader social conditions. Through publications like The FACIT Model – Globalism, Localism, Identity (Spector Books, 2019) and Our Form of Book (Extrapool, 2016) Our Polite Society addresses the reciprocal influence of visual idioms and social contexts. In Constant Change (2021), the artistic duo created a font based on the work of Constant Nieuwenhuijs, the visual artist, CoBrA founder and Situationist, which plays with alphabetic forms. The typographic designs were based on around a hundred of Nieuwenhuijs’s works.

Our Polite Society has developed the Time Pieces series exclusively for the Kunstverein Bielefeld. Four-sided clocks obtained from online auction houses served as the basis for the design. Our Polite Society became interested in how the clocks use digits in the format, and how distortion can create tension with the workings of the clock. The Time Pieces series comes in three different sizes, each featuring specially-designed characters. The design of symbols immediately catches the eye: it plays both with clock-design conventions and visual representations of time.