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Chronophasis Screenshot 1 Chronophasis Screenshot 2 Chronophasis Screenshot 3

Chronophasis is an app that creates visual and sonic patterns in time. Just like a clock creates visual patterns though the rotating of its hands, Chronophasis generates patterns that can be used to structure you day, week, month, or year.

What is Chronophasis?

The utilitarian answer is, "It is a clock." As a clock, it can be read by following the visual patterns generated by its rotating faces and sonic patterns created from varying the duration and relative phase of streams of sonic grains. Here are some hints:

Chronophasis Hands Explanation


A clock typically has two hands that point to positions on one face: a long hand that completes a rotation every hour, and a short hand that completes a rotation every 12 hours. Chronophasis visually represents time following a similar principle, but instead of two hands, it has 4, and each hand has its own distinct face.

The largest hand/face completes a rotation once a year. The next largest hand/face completes a rotation once a week. The second smallest hand/face completes a rotation every 12 hours, and the smallest hand/face completes a rotation every hour. The starting point for each hand is pointing up to the top.


The sound is created by three voices. Strictly speaking, all voices have a period of one day. However, one voice additionally has characteristics that repeat every 12 hours, and another has characteristics that recur every hour. Install the app and listen to it!

What is Chronophasis really?

The real idea behind Chronophasis, however, is a portable sound and video installation. Instead of being tied to one place, it travels wherever you go. Listen to it and watch it at different times of day, different times of year, and in different places.



Many thanks to the Swiss BAK (Bundesamt für Kultur) for funding this work as part of its Artists-in-Labs project. Thanks as well to Prof. Jürg Gutknecht and the members of his Native Systems Lab at ETH Zürich for hosting me and supporting this work. And thanks to James McCartney for his tips on manipulating audio on the iPhone.

Chronophasis is dedicated to the memory of Max Neuhaus (1939 - 2009)