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0.004 Hz (2020)

Installation by Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec

Electronic sound, Tapan/Tupana drum, printed matter, publication, trestle, handheld light torches.

0.004 Hz examines an event that originates from a dispute between Serbia and Kosovo, which for several months in 2018, almost imperceptibly affected everyday life in an area of Europe comprising 25 nations. Due to the complex and unresolved political relations in which Kosovo and Serbia (and the Serbian minority in Kosovo) were – and continue to be – embroiled, there was a deficit of electrical power in the region from January to March 2018. This caused the mean electrical frequency in the entire Continental European Power System (from Istanbul to Santiago de Compostela, from Rome to Copenhagen) to decrease from 50 to 49.996 Hz. For the many electric clocks that keep time according to the frequency of the power grid, instead of quartz crystal, the 0.004 Hz drop resulted in a cumulative delay of 6 minutes over the 2-month period.


The interesting thing is – almost nobody noticed.


This project embraces the event as an opportunity to encounter and contemplate the temporal gap – the cranny, loss of time – or delay that disrupted the (measured) flow of time itself. The result is something that I would like to call an ecstatic interval: an interval that amplifies fuzzy and unstable relations between the understanding, measurement, representation and experience of temporality. It is a gap that also illuminates the invisible, involuntary and unexpected ‘shadow connectivity’ that the continent-wide electrical power grid enables between distant people, places, cultures, political spheres and everyday life.


How does the shared grid connect political institutions in the Balkans to the kitchens and bedrooms of Denmark?

How does this affect and inform the contemporary human condition and relations between experience, factuality, distance and visibility?

How does it (trans)form the notion of territoriality, autonomy and statehood?

And, what are the potential relations between this event and the poetic, philosophical and artistic articulations of the evasive, ephemeral and imperceptible?


The publication collects mostly found fragments that are indicative of the potential in, and are essential or tangential to, the ecstatic interval. Official announcements, news reports and interpretations of the frequency deviation described above are juxtaposed with articulations of the ecstatic interval across literature, art, theory, philosophy and science. These include fragments by Karen Barad, Gertrude Stein, Marshall McLuhan, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Brian Massumi, Adriana Cavarero, Marcel Duchamp, Mladen Dolar and Simone de Beauvoir among others.

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