During this lecture I tell one oral story about the relationship between the human and the clock. It starts from the first mechanical inventions, it develops into the struggle of being together at see. I talk about its role for industri- alisation, its growing importance in history and how it reaches the stars and accelerate society. How maybe this relashionship is coming to an end with a separation…

Humanity used clocks to structure time for society, triggering many techno- logical and sociological developments. Their relationship has been changing since the beginning, they grew and got old together. What is becoming of time then?

Mars Song, 2019

concert, six-channel sound composition, synth, voice
In collaboration with Constantin Engelmann. Canonic practice and Synth: Augustin Maurs. Voice: Amelie Baier.

Mars Song is composed of a fictive field recording of the planet Mars, and an interaction between a voice and a synth.

The imaginary field recording coming from the speakers reproduce a windy atmosphere. The sound is based on algorithms derived from the weather model by Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, IPSL – The Mars climate database. Throughout the wind a genderless voice, describing an imaginary stay on the planet, is elegantly distributed.

Live, a voice and a synth dialogue and interact with each other based on a canonic exercise by Augustin Maurs: the singer should reproduce three times, as accurately as she can, the sounds and pause emitted by the synth. The synth player though, plays more sounds than she could actually remember, creating this way a com- position based on human error, or imagination.

Mars is the land of dreams: we have never visited it, seen it or heard its sound, nevertheless throughout centuries and cultures the planet has inspired countless ideas of parallel realities; even if it has been discovered through telescopes, satellites and machines it still foster the imagination of many, also during this apocalyptic and anthropocenic times. In 2018 the InSight rover from nasa shortly after being landed on the planet, sent us the first recording of the martian wind. This was the first audible record of the planet that we ever received. This recording has been regarded as inspiration for the sounds.

One Sunray through the Earth, 2019

searchlight, electronic and mechanical components
in collaboration with Constantin Engelmann

Every evening near Alexanderplatz one ray of sunlight shines fleetingly into the dark sky. The appearance of this phenomenon at latitude 52.52, longitude 13.41 (at Alte Münze) coincides with local noon on the exact opposite side of the planet: longitude -166.59. The sunray slips through an imaginary slit in Earth’s blue sphere, reappearing to reach out into the middle of the Berlin night.

For more information see the website onesunray.earth

EXP: je voudrais commencer par sauter, 2018

Performance, variable duration
in collaboration with Francesca Sproccati and Elena Boillat

(…) A philosophical venture on the concept of Tempus fugit – to paraphrase Virgil – on an entity that is difficult to capture and that today requires reflection on the sense of absence that acts on the state of intimate and collective well-being, on the ability to assess what we do or we want to do. (…) And where sounds and bodies seek space in the inexorable passage of time;
in short, EXP: is a contemplative metaspectacle that has the merit of not leaving the audience indifferent.

Giorgio Thoeni (Azione, 1.10.2018)

In the face of the common feeling of a constant impossible race against time (“I have no time”), the piece “EXP: je voudrais commencer par sauter” ponders time as a place of infinite possibilities. The time that this piece deals with is real time, absurdly diachronic, fragmented, and difficult to
grasp. Here, spectators share the stage space with three performers, and everybody is invited to travel. “EXP:” is an environment to pass through, an inhabited place to visit and immerse yourself in. “EXP: je voudrais commencer par sauter” could become a fitness center for weight loss, a mystical temple where ascetic rites are performed, a punk-rock concert, and much more. In fact, “EXP:” is simply a place dedicated to collective experimentation in order to achieve a result, as in a scientific laboratory. This experience encourages an osmosis between the audience and the performers and aims to create practices for integrating the contemplative life with the active one. Faced with the infinite possibility of choices of contemporary life, we decide to answer with a minimalism of intentions.
“EXP: je voudrais commencer par sauter” connects the language of the installation with that of the performance, so as to create a place that is time and that changes as it flows. The staging is a sound and visual landscape, a performative framework that, by translating the chosen abstract concept, itself becomes dramaturgy.

A project by Francesca Sproccati, Drammaturgy and project assistance by Elena Boillat, Ambient and sound by Elisa Storelli, Technical direction by Rosario Ilardo

Time Piece (Martian Deadbeat), 2018

aluminium, stainless steel, steel, electronic and mechanical components

Time Piece (Martian Deadbeat) is a clock built with the dimension to swing the second tact on Earth. Although the mechanism is modified so to swing as it would on Mars: because the gravity on Mars is weaker, the pendulum swings about 20% slower.

The work is inspired by Sci-Fi: Mars is a metaphoric planet, many stories took place on its fantasized ground, with the intent to paraphrase terrestrial situations or dreams. The sculpture beat so the time of imagination, transferring the martian ticktocking back on Earth. It remind us that also a time standard such as the Second is relative and that the shape of time we are used to, made of minute and hours of a fixed duration, is nothing else but a convention.

atomistic, 2017

Time Piece (seconds) – Aluminium, led lights and electronic components
Neocortex – Sound composition, duration approx 45 min, in collaboration with Constantin Engelmann.

What is continuity? According to the ancient Arabic theory of atomism, reality consists of unimaginably small indivisible particles, “tars” (atoms). Those exist only for a single instant until the next instant begins: then, the entire universe is remade with a new set of atoms. We know that simultaneousness is imaginary: sound waves and light waves have different lengths, and yet we hear and see things the same instant, because our brain synchronises them. It is therefore possible to speculate that continuity might also be a mental construct, evolved for the sake of understanding reality. If that is the case, time might actually be slippery. The instants not connected to one another anymore would be eager to slip away and mix.Atomistic is a staged experience, a dialogue between two artworks: Time Piece (seconds) and Neocortex. Both works deal with ideas about the perception of time continuity and its division into smaller parts. Each of them, however, engages another of our senses. One is a polyrhythmic arrangement of pulsating lights, an impression-evoking visual work; the other is a slow-motion noise composition, an auditory experience. The first is one about continuous oscillation, the latter is a narration developing in time, with clear beginning and end.It is by combining the two in space that a multi-sensual experience is triggered. The two artworks influence and complement one another: one is eternal, the other represents an event. Thanks to the development of the sound narration it is possible to peer at Time Piece (seconds) for a longer time. The auditory stimuli from Neocortex mislead our visual reception: sometimes the lights seem to pulsate differently.Atomistic plays with our perception, associating the polyvalence of our understanding of time, event and process; of single instant and continuity; of the past, the present, and future. This staged experience challenges the general idea of continuity by triggering the subjectivity of our time perception.

What is time?, 2017

generative sound installation

What is time? is a series of questions about one of the most common noun used in the english language. Time is something we all know and a word we use constantly, but even though the phenomenon has a name, defining it is a different matter. The work deals with the variety of meanings, projections and speculations relating to time by asking questions about it ad absurdum. The interrogation itself becomes a paraphrase of this complex concept.

Reality Glitch, 2016

windsocks, aluminium, electronic and mechanical component
in collaboration with Constantin Engelmann

Reality Glitch is a public installation composed of two windsock, one is the official white and red wind signal, the other is white and grey. The classical red flag shows the wind direction, the grey one instead points against the wind, messing up with the viewers visual perception.

Dial (the mysterious island), 2016

in situ, yellow paint on floor

This piece is part of a collection of works along with Time Piece (the mysterious island), Time Piece (UTC -10h) and the publication 35°60’S, 150°38’ W.

The works relocate the passing of time on Ernest-Legouvé Reef, that was discovered in the beginning of the 20th century, near the location of the fictitious Lincoln island of Jules Verne’s book The Mysterious Island. Ever since the reef is reported in many atlases, even though it doesn’t appear to exist anymore.

Dial (the mysterious island) is an horizontal dial drawn the way it would be on the island.

Time Piece (the mysterious island), 2016

light, steel, electronic and mechanical components

This piece is part of a collection of works along with Time Piece (UTC -10h), the publication 35°60’S, 150°38’ W and Dial (the mysterious island).

The works relocate the passing of time on Ernest-Legouvé Reef, that was discovered in the beginning of the 20th century, near the location of the fictitious Lincoln island of Jules Verne’s book The Mysterious Island. Ever since the reef is reported in many atlases, even though it doesn’t appear to exist anymore.

Time Piece (the mysterious island) is a night sundial showing time with a beam of light. This beam represents the shadow that a vertical sundial would produce on the island. Light becomes in this way the shadow of a neverland.

Time Piece (UTC -10h), 2016

bell, aluminium electronic and mechanical component

This piece is part of a collection of works along with Time Piece (the mysterious island), the publication 35°60’S, 150°38’ W and Dial (the mysterious island).

The works relocate the passing of time on Ernest-Legouvé Reef, that was discovered in the beginning of the 20th century, near the location of the fictitious Lincoln island of Jules Verne’s book The Mysterious Island. Ever since the reef is reported in many atlases, even though it doesn’t appear to exist anymore.

Time Piece (UTC -10h) strikes every full hour the time in the time zone where the mysterious island is located.

35°60’S, 150°38’ W, 2016

postcard, published by mottobooks.com and la rada

This publication is part of a collection of works along with Time Piece (the mysterious island), Time Piece (UTC -10h) and Dial (the mysterious island).

The works relocate the passing of time on Ernest-Legouvé Reef from the pacific to Locarno. The reef was discovered in the beginning of the 20th century, near the location of the fictitious Lincoln island of Jules Verne’s book The Mysterious Island. Ever since the reef is reported in many atlases, even though it doesn’t appear to exist anymore.

Printed on the postcard the satellite image of the location where the island should be, along with some notes.

Ieri ricordato domani, 2016

Full HD, 00:01:00

“Ieri ricordato domani” (yesterday remembered tomorrow) is a shot of a clock moving between yesterday and tomorrow. The swiss train clock looses its function to record time. The idea of day is so reduced to the arbitrary length of one minute and a circular, repetitive movement. It becomes abstract and evanescent as any recollection.

Duration, time’s own essence, disappears in our memory. Without recording the timestamp of an event, the length of any action becomes malleable by our mind. Any event is reduced to a story, some images or feeling, and it is deprived of any temporal meaning.

System Sin 1.0, 2015

artist book, edition of 300, published by mottobooks.com

System Sin 1.0 is a sci-fi time system developed by the artist.
Published on the occasion of the sound installation «Time Piece (Additive Synthesis Bell)» the book includes the mathematical explanation of the time system, along with its graphical representation. Additionally it features an essay by author Elvia Wilk.

With its unusual hours and distorted durations, the system depict how malleable the measurement of time can be. By challenging the universal acceptance of UTC, it emphasises the human capacity to stretch and shrink experiences of duration and the effect of perception on time.

Time piece (bell), 2015

Sound installation for a church

Time piece (bell) is a composition be played on a church. Its bell strikes the hours according to the sci-fi time system sin 1.0 (developed by the artists and published in the book System sin 1.0). In place of the regular hours in UTC time, the hours in system sin 1.0 are spread along a sinusoidal curve, so that their duration varies throughout the day.
In system sin 1.0 time, as in ancient Rome, day and night are fixed by sunrise and sunset. Between these solar events, sin hours shorten towards noon and midnight. As the duration of daylight increases or decreases slightly every day, the duration of sin hours varies accordingly.

Time piece (bell) is to be programmed on a church bell. It was already played in Atina, Italy. Alternatively, the work exists as a sound installation Time Piece (additive synthesis bell): in this case the bell is a digital sound to be setup in the exhibition space.

You can hear a compacted day with the bell striking the sin hours here: http://elisastorelli.ch/bell-recording/

Time Piece (beginning), 2015

aluminium, plexiglas, electronic and mechanical components

Time Piece (beginning) merges three time systems together; all share the same division of the day in 24 hours of equal length. The sculpture displays Babylonian, local and Italian time and blinks each system in alteration every 100 milliseconds.
The Babylonian time system has its day starting at sunrise, and it is blinked yellow. Local time, in our well known UTC system, is white, and its day starts at midnight. Ultimately, the Italian time system starts at sunset and is shown in red.

This stroboscopic clock blinks quickly the contrast of micro and macro time concepts, joking with the arbitrariness of the day’s beginning.

Time Piece (all the time of the world), 2014

aluminium, transparent color coating, electronic and mechanical components

The sculpture is mounted at about a two meter height on a wall and has the size of a common wall clock.
The azure disk turns imperceptibly slowly on itself, the motor and gears are noisy and visibly moving though. One complete rotation of the disk is the same duration of the sidereal day of the earth: 23 hours 56 minutes and 4 seconds, the time that our planet needs to make one rotation along its axis.

This supposedly static clock, which we have to believe is moving, reminds of the continuous and maybe eternal flow of time that we can just imagine.

untitled (desideri), 2013

party balloons, ice

The sculpture is made of a group party balloons, tied together in pairs. The balloons are held to the ground by a half ring of ice. They want to fly away, but the uplift they need only lasts for some hours. The ice is melting. Both processes run at nonlinear speeds determined by the air temperature. This creates a precarious balance.

Invito al viaggio, 2013

carpet, jigsaw puzzles

«Invito al viaggio», (Invitation to a journey) is a performative sculpture.

The visitor is invited to assemble the fragments of the jigsaw puzzle together. The picture featured on the puzzle are those of stars and galaxies, so that two parameters related to time mixes: daydreaming, imagination and reflection along to the abstract idea of the time of the universe.

Trillenium, 2013

multichannel sound performance
in collaboration with Constantin Engelmann

Trillenium is a musical improvisation played live. It uses chaotic systems and their behaviour in time and space. During the performance the duo plays a hybrid system, consisting of analog cir- cuits, a hand built modular synthesizer and sound algorithms implemented in the program Supercollider.