From Time to Time

Exhibition in Neues Museum Biel (09.2018-02.2019)

What is time and what impact does it have on us? Generations of researchers in the natural and human sciences have tried to understand it and have produced an abundant literature around this central theme of our society. Since Antiquity, various physical, philosophical, metaphorical and sociological studies have been carried out in this perspective.
The exhibition of the NMB Nouveau Musée Bienne does not aim to offer a synthesis of these innumerable reflections. Instead, it provides an overview of the different time dimensions and explores the effects of time measurement on people’s lives. From the multitude of words and expressions including the concept of “time”, 24 notions were selected, including “Free time”, “Working time”, “Waiting time” or “Air du temps”. Through the exhibition, they are analysed from an artistic, archaeological and historical point of view, experimented individually or questioned according to their social relevance.

D’un temps à l’autre
Qu’est-ce que le temps et quel impact a-t-il sur nous ? Des générations de chercheurs en sciences naturelles et humaines ont tenté de le comprendre et ont produit une abondante littérature autour de ce thème central de notre société. Depuis l’Antiquité, diverses études physiques, philosophiques, métaphoriques ou encore sociologiques ont été menées dans cette perspective.
L’exposition du NMB Nouveau Musée Bienne n’a pas pour but d’offrir une synthèse de ces innombrables réflexions. Au contraire, elle donne un aperçu des différentes dimensions temporelles et explore les effets de la mesure du temps sur la vie des gens. De la multitude de mots et d’expressions comprenant le concept de « temps », 24 notions ont été sélectionnées dont « Temps libre », « Temps de travail », « Temps d’attente » ou « Air du temps ». À travers l’exposition, elles sont analysées d’un point de vue artistique, archéologique et historique, expérimentées individuellement ou encore interrogées en fonction de leur pertinence sociale.

Dunne Raby / Anastassiades

Design can only follow our needs and desires, it can’t create them. If our desires remain unimaginative and practical, then that is what design will be. In this project we are hoping for a time when we will have more complex and subtle everyday needs than we do today. These objects are designed in anticipation of that time. Patiently waiting. Maybe they are utopian.

  1. The Statistical Clock checks the BBC website for technologically mediated fatalities: car, train, plane, etc, and pulls them into a database. Each technology has its own channel. The clock checks it every minute or so, and each time it finds a new one it speaks it out loud… 1, 2, 3, etc.
  2. The Risk Watch speaks a number when you place it to your ear, the rubber nipple deflects and activates a specially built device inside. The number corresponds to the political stability of the country you are in at that time.
© Dunne & Raby / Michael Anastassiades

Time is money

Ivan Argote, Time is Money, 2007

“Remember that time is money”, the famous quote by Benjamin Franklin, is here literally represented, the metaphor is transformed into its visual materialization. Iván Argote designed a web-based system to convert the time of day into money.
This digital clock shows the hour in euros or dollars, western/capitalistic currencies.

Study of additive manufactured microwave cavities for pulsed optically pumped atomic clock applications

Additive manufacturing (AM) of passive microwave components is of high interest for the cost-effective and rapid prototyping or manufacture of devices with complex geometries. Here, we present an experimental study on the properties of recently demonstrated microwave resonator cavities manufactured by AM, in view of their applications to high-performance compact atomic clocks. The microwave cavities employ a loop-gap geometry using six electrodes. The critical electrode structures were manufactured monolithically using two different approaches: Stereolithography (SLA) of a polymer followed by metal coating and Selective Laser Melting (SLM) of aluminum. The tested microwave cavities show the desired TE011-like resonant mode at the Rb clock frequency of ≈6.835 GHz, with a microwave magnetic field highly parallel to the quantization axis across the vapor cell. When operated in an atomic clock setup, the measured atomic Rabi oscillations are comparable to those observed for conventionally manufactured cavities and indicate a good uniformity of the field amplitude across the vapor cell. Employing a time-domain Ramsey scheme on one of the SLA cavities, high-contrast (34%) Ramsey fringes are observed for the Rb clock transition, along with a narrow (166 Hz linewidth) central fringe. The measured clock stability of 2.2 × 10−13 τ−1/2 up to the integration time of 30 s is comparable to the current state-of-the-art stabilities of compact vapor-cell clocks based on conventional microwave cavities and thus demonstrates the feasibility of the approach….

The Neuchâtel Time Frequency Laboratory: at the heart of innovative precision

The Time Frequency Laboratory at Neuchâtel University recently announced the validation of a prototype for a microwave cavity, a crucial component in atomic clocks. The innovation is in the production of these components using 3D printers, a first in the field. But are you familiar with how atomic clocks operate and their applications ? (Article)

Interview of Gaetano Mileti, Deputy director of the Time and Frequency Laboratory of Neuchatel (RTS, CQFD, 23.02.2018)(French)

Telling Time

Exhibition Telling Time (L’éloge du Temps), MUDAC Lausanne, 2015

Maarten Baas, Grandfather Clock, from the series Real Time, video installation, 2009.

Gianni Motti, Big Crunch Clock, wall clock (countdown from 5 billion years to the explosion of the sun), 1999 (MAMCO Genève)

In 1999, G. Motti started “Big Crunch Clock” for the first time – a digital clock with twenty digits, from billions of years to tenths of a second – that counts down the five billion years between the sun and its explosion. The clock, which is none other than a detonator, is designed to operate, ironically, on solar energy, the artist forcing each purchaser to adapt the device to future technological inventions. After claiming responsibility for earthquakes, meteorite rains, moon and sun eclipses, G. Motti appropriated the largest natural disaster ever known, responsible for the disappearance of the solar system, and thus of the earth, thus freeing humanity from its millenarian terrors. With “Big Crunch Clock”, G. Motti pushes the boundaries of art, creating an unprecedented posthumous work of art, of which he is the repository.

En 1999, G. Motti met en marche pour la première fois « Big Crunch Clock » – horloge digitale comportant vingt chiffres, des milliards d’années aux dixièmes de secondes – qui fait le compte-à-rebours des cinq milliards d’années qui séparent le soleil de son explosion. L’horloge, qui n’est autre qu’un détonateur, est prévue pour fonctionner, ironie du sort, à l’énergie solaire, l’artiste obligeant chaque acquéreur à adapter l’appareil aux inventions technologiques futures. Après avoir revendiqué tremblements de terre, pluies de météorites, éclipses de lune et de soleil, G. Motti s’approprie la plus grosse catastrophe naturelle, jamais connue, responsable de la disparition du système solaire, et par là-même de la terre, délivrant du même coup l’humanité de ses terreurs millénaristes. Avec « Big Crunch Clock », G. Motti repousse les limites de l’art, créant d’ores et déjà une œuvre posthume sans précédent, dont il nous fait les dépositaires.

Design and Power | 07.03–09.03.2019

Teacher: Theresia Leuenberger

The workshop deals with the questions of power in relation to design processes (collaboration with multiple actors) and the working of design (perception, use).

We worked in groups to talk about some of our projects and try to understand these design issues.

John Harrison. The invention of longitude

John Harrison (1693–1776) was a self-educated English carpenter and clockmaker who invented the marine chronometer, a long-sought-after device for solving the problem of calculating longitude while at sea.
Harrison’s solution revolutionized navigation and greatly increased the safety of long-distance sea travel. The problem he solved was considered so important following the Scilly naval disaster of 1707 that the British Parliament offered financial rewards of up to £20,000 (equivalent to £3.09 million in 2019) under the 1714 Longitude Act.
In 1730, Harrison presented his first design, and worked over many years on improved designs, making several advances in time-keeping technology, finally turning to what were called sea watches. Harrison gained support from the Longitude Board in building and testing his designs. Toward the end of his life, he received recognition and a reward from Parliament.
Marine chronometer
History of longitude