In the core of Geneva, a white brick-walled space is now swaying with the arc of a long pendulum and swelling with a mechanical tone.
This is M.A.D. Gallery, avant-garde horologer’s MB&F’s art space in Switzerland, which is now hosting a kinetic installation by engineer and artist Florian Schlumpf.
The exhibit, titled “Time Machines,” features three of Schlumpf’s open-work pieces that explore the inner mechanisms of clocks and keep track of time in an intuitive and meditative manner.
“I was always fascinated by machines that generate a rhythm” Florian Schlumpf said in a press release on the occasion. “A rhythm without time does not exist. A
simple pendulum is such a machine: it fascinates by its movement, by its gentle sound. The slower the rhythm, the more soothing its impact is on our emotions.”
Infusing the mechanical precision of traditional clocks with an artistic undercurrent, the three hand-finished compositions – TM2, TM3 and Wall Machine – come in a modern, austere color palette of black, silver, gold and copper. Each design fascinates with its unique aesthetic.
The TM2 rises more than 6 feet on a disk-shaped plate that carries the elongated steel frame of close to 180 pounds. The looming structure features a timing mechanism, constructed of four pairs of gears and a 50mm escape wheel. The pendulum keeps its swing for a week without the need of an energy boost.
The TM3 is smaller than the TM2 but can run longer – eight days, to be exact. Weighing only 22 pounds and stretching mere 4 to 6 feet (depending on the model – “Kaspar” is 4 feet, while “Johann” is taller), this piece flaunts patent-pending anchor arms, which are built with a spring-loading technology that provides smooth and nearly silent operation and requires minimal energy.
Unlike its sculptural siblings, the Wall Machine draws a painting of time. Inside its almost square inky filigree frame tick black and golden anodized gears that propel a mirror-polished golden pendulum disk and hands. A 6-feet orbital drive completes the peculiarity of the composition.
Sprung to life in Schlumpf’s workshop in the Swiss town of Trimmis, each kinetic artwork marks the passage of seconds, minutes, hours and the week’s days both with hands as well as the captivating sounds of pendulums.
Schlumpf’s inaugural Time Machine – TM1 – debuted at Baselworld 2014 as an artistic experiment with time indication. The following year, he installed a four-quadrant Time Machine with 24 steadily rotating wheels in the inner courtyard of the watch fair.
MB&F M.A.D. Gallery is located at Rue Verdaine 11, 1204 Geneva.