Collapsing Time

kinetic sculpture exploring the suspension of time


Twenty-four clocks tick at a steady pace. Each represents a different time zone, to reflect the viewers from around the globe. Once an hour, the timepieces unify through chaotic movements of the hands until they all meet at 12. The height of the clock is reached in unison and for a few moments, time is suspended before it resumes its regular evolution.

As part of an international event, this artwork was commissioned to be created based on the theme of time along with other participating artists. »Collapsing Time« is a work exploring notions of thresholds and boundaries. The clocks represent the twenty-four time zones of the international guests and are synchronized to break once an hour to explore the conflation and shared experience of a collapse in time. The hour is kept in unison and order until the regular and unified point when the hands of the clocks start shifting in disorder. The hands turn backwards and forwards, speed up and slow down in disarray and without notice. Time falls apart and deconstructs itself once an hour, as it questions and puts into perspective our experience and normative notions of how it should be seen or felt. By harmonizing this decay, spectators are given the opportunity to feel the liminality of what lies between when hours are combined and flow into each other. The fluidity and subjectivity of international time zones is palpable through the participation of the guests involved in the motion of the process.

Using conventional clocks, custom-made 3D printed parts were created to enhance and replace the existing clockworks. The hands of the clocks are curated and engineered to act independently of each other. To achieve this, each clock used two separate motors to steer the hands respectively, while a custom-built software controlled the hands by communicating with an array of Arduinos and stepper drivers.


  • Commissioned by: KMS Blackspace
  • Design & Production: onformative
  • Hardware Development & Code: Denny Koch
  • Film Camera & Editing: Sebastian Löffler