TEMPO, TEMPO! is a piece of kinetic art in the form of a metronome with an audible spark. Or, according to creator Sanela Jahić, it’s “a kinetic object which form a narrative about accelerating the production process and enhancing work performance in order to increase competitiveness and improve profits.” Since I work as an engineer in manufacturing, I get the feeling that this piece of art is somehow “directed” at me. I suppose we all have our role to play in the world…

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The metronome, which is wound up like a mechanical alarm clock, uses a flyback transformer to produce a spark between the end of the metronome’s hand and a nail on either side of the device’s travel. This spark is modulated by an Arduino-controlled 555 MOSFET driver in order to play audio samples. These samples are synced with a video of a play performed in 1930 by a group of German immigrant workers. The play’s title of TEMPO, TEMPO! is shared with this art installation.

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The art installation, as seen in the video above, are definitely strange, and audio coming from sparks is something that I’ll have to keep in the back of my mind for future projects. Also of interest was that Sanela was able to combine old footage with new techniques for something that is definitely one-of-a-kind. You can find more info on Sanela’s website.