Main | Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Morning View - Metronome

Hovering on the facade of Union Square's Virgin Megastore/ Circuit City location is not a digital commentary on overpopulation, or the national debt, but the Metronome, built in 1998 as one of the largest private commissions of public art in the history of the city. Created by Kristin Jones and Andrew Ginzel at the bequest of the building's owner, the piece's elements "suggest the instant and infinity, astronomical sequence, geological epoch and ephemerality." Oh, brother.

Almost everybody I know thinks the thing is interesting, but damn fugly, from the rock/needle/sunburst to the inscrutable spinning "New York minute" numbers (which supposedly give the time of day and the number of hours and minutes left until midnight, although it never seems right to me.) The hole in the sunburst emits random puffs of white steam "as a symbol of the city's eternal energy", which would be neat in Times Square, I suppose. This is what $3 million dollars could get you in 1998.

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