Light Trails and Echoes Form a Massive, Multisensory Canvas

An array of robotic pendulums create a composition of movement, light, and sound in United Visual Artists' 'Our Time.'

Photos courtesy of United Visual Artists

Like the tick-tock of a grandfather clock, a new artwork by United Visual Artists, called Our Time, explores the tangible passage of time through sound and movement. But unlike the single, standing timepiece, it takes the form of 21 large-scale pendulums which immerse the audience in a fog of trailing light and echoing audio.

The installation is currently on at the Dark Mofo festival in Hobart, Austria where viewers can enter a warehouse and stand under this undulating canvas, experiencing the fluctuating compositions that gradually change from order to disorder.

Photos courtesy of United Visual Artists

Each of the pendulums is a counterweighted two-axis robot arm containing a speaker and spotlight, which together form a system that allows for the synchronous and asynchronous movement throughout. "The speaker and light source integrated into each pendulum bob creates a direct, physical connection between sound, light and movement," explains Matt Clark. "Each instrument is calibrated and monitored using a central control system, so that each unit responds in exactly the same manner."  

Photos courtesy of United Visual Artists As the pendulums swing back and forth, nearly touching each other, they find their own tempo; their disintegrating presence creates a palpable sense of time passing. The piece is part of a series of kinetic sculptures which date back to the studio's 2013 work, Momentum, each exploring the relationship—the concord and discord—of light, sound, and movement together.

Photos courtesy of United Visual Artists

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