The “philosophical nature of art” is the movement where art does not only come to question itself as an object, which is the hallmark of modernism, but as a subject, taking a Kantian "self-critical" turn that tries to understand the conditions of its own possibility. Art asks itself: What am I? How did I come to be? Where am I going? Where should I go? Where will I go? "The Clock" becomes itself a clock, interrogating what it is to be "clock." In this way, "The Clock" becomes self-conscious, a subject, and forces the viewer to interrogate themselves not only as subjects watching "the clock," but as objects being watched by "The Clock." We must then ask ourselves the same philosophical questions: What am I? How did I come to be? Where am I going? Where should I go? Where will I go?
The clock is one of the most interesting human tools. Like all tools, it operates dialectically, not only as an object used by a subject to alter the object that is the world, but something that becomes itself a subject that transforms the very subject (turning him into part object) that wields the tool. The clock is a way of measuring time, but it also changes the way we experience time itself, the way we experience our own selves. Think of how our smart phones have so rapidly altered the way we have our time, our space, our relation to others, our relation to our own selves. The tool is never merely a passive object—it works on its holder just as much as the holder works on it.