Space and Time – Stories from the Neuchâtel Observatory
Marc-Olivier Schatz, 2020
TICK TICK TICK
It’s 12:29:58 pm, it’s 12:29:59 pm, it’s 12:30:00 pm.
What is time? Who creates time?
How do we measure it?
These questions have always fascinated humanity!
Space and Time: stories from the Neuchâtel Observatory is an innovative exhibition project designed to help visitors discover a unique and forgotten Swiss scientific heritage. The Neuchâtel Observatory was a world reference for the determination and distribution of time for almost 150 years (1858-2007). Its history is deeply connected to that of the Jura watchmaking industry, which still today plays a fundamental role in the reputation of Swiss watches.
The exhibition project is designed for the Hirsch Pavilion, a magnificent Art Nouveau building dating from 1912, which is part of the Observatory site. It is led by the EspaceTemps association, which I am a member of. In contrast to exhibition designs and storytelling currently offered by watchmaking museums, especially in the Neuchâtel region, this immersive experience aims to inspire visitors by taking them on a journey from the infinitely large, the Universe, to the infinitely small, atoms. Sharing scientific questionings with the public, it will allow visitors to discover the place where astronomical research was carried out and the scientific instruments of the Observatory in their original context. Space and Time will offer an original way to learn about the meaning of time and add a new and significative product to the touristic offer of the Jura Arc.