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50 Hz

50 Hz, sound installation, steel, oszillator, transformer, 180×13x0,5cm, 2017

The work 50 Hz refers to time representation depending on the electrical network frequency. Although many clocks are digitally controlled, numerous timepieces with synchronous electric motors still rely on the utility frequency of the AC electric power grid as a timing source. Since the exact frequency of the grid varies, deviations between network phase time and UTC may occur. To maintain synchronization and avoid time errors, the frequency is adjusted as needed by a control center.
This phenomenon is expressed in the work 50 Hz. It consists out of a steel bar, formally referring to a clock hand, which is oscillated by a transducer connected to the power supply. Analogous to the power frequency of 50 Hz, the steel slightly oscillates and thus creates a subtle sound, which, like a constant hum, expands the sculptural element of the work by an auditive one. Referring to the electrical alternating current network and its role in time measuring, 50 Hz questions the idea of time as a linear function.

Technical assistance: Gregor Göttfert