Kerstin Ergenzinger & nuclock

Article on the collaboration: The music of time

Kerstin Ergenzinger is an artist working in the fields of installation, electronic arts/new media and drawing. Her works explore the sensory and conceptual relationships between the individual and its physical surroundings. By focusing on processes of perception, on technologies and strategies applied in spatial and mental navigation and the production of knowledge, she investigates the limits of human perception and our capacity to comprehend and interpret our environment. How do you move in the world, and how does that feel? How does your body relate to other bodies and to its surroundings, and how can you define the coordinates of our own position? In response to these fundamental questions, she develops in her works diverse points of view that play with the opposition between metaphorical distance and physical immediacy. Alongside her studio practice she is frequently involved in collaborative projects and research projects in other fields such as dance, music, film and science.) 

Within FEAT, Kerstin is working with the nuclock project, who are headed for an ambitious goal: the development of a scientific clock that reaches a much higher precision compared to the best clocks that are operated today in some of the world’s finest laboratories. While such clocks use the electrons of an atom as the “pendulum”, we will use the nucleus of a very special atom – Thorium-229 – for setting the rhythm. Once we get our clock working, it can be employed aboard navigation satellites, it can help to synchronize networks, and it might lead astronomers to a better understanding of the universe.

On her collaboration Kerstin states: "After we met as affiliates of the FEAT initiative, the researchers from nuClock and myself, quickly decided to  collaborate throughout the whole period of their FET project. In the moment I am working in exchange with nuClock on a study on noise and precision, both phenomena we are engaged in from different point of views. Throughout this process we are looking for ways to jointly develop an experiment / art work that opens up an area where on first sight abstract concepts and counterintuitive and elusive objects of observation enter the macro world of our human perception and reveal its entanglement with and effects on us and our close surroundings."

Artist Kerstin Ergenzinger and scientist Simon Stellmer discuss the perception of time from their respective backgrounds and how they converge on the deep philosophical issues that are raised. They present and discuss their approach to art and to art and science collaborations and detail their specific project in relation to the FEAT residency.

Simon Stellmer (nuclock) and Kerstin Ergenzinger at the FEAT workshop at Ars Electronica in Linz