Zero Noon

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Zero Noon , ongoing
Co-workers & Funding
bitforms gallery
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
"Zero Noon", 2013
computer, processing software, square HD display, electronic, metal enclosure
17 x 17 x 4"
edition of 12
"Zero Noon" is a digital clock that shows the current time according to eccentric metrics: it uses hundreds of different reference systems. For example, the clock can tell the time based on the average number of daily financial transactions in Brazil, the average daily amount of cookies sold by girl scouts, the number of animal species that become extinct per day, the daily average number of breaths that a typical human takes, and so on. Basically, "Zero Noon" is a clock that is run by internet-refreshed statistics.
The clock's statistics are all synchronized so that precisely at noon they all zero and start over. At noon automatically a new metric is displayed in a different colour chosen from a determined palette. The public may also change the statistics by manually scrolling through the list using small push-buttons under the built-in display. This guarantees that the content of the clocks is always fresh and thought-provoking. The statistics come from government data, Harper’s Magazine, financial institutions, NGOs, academic studies and other trusted sources. Some of the data streams will be useful, others sobering, some of them fun. The actual metrics are chosen by the artist studio but the collector is also able to add statistics to the system.
A clock shows a large number, readable from far away: as you get closer you can read on the bottom the “fine-print” which is the actual reference baseline for that clock, e.g. the average daily number of births in the world. Each statistic is also cross-referenced with the source of the data.
The clock generates a faint “ticking” sound every time that the handle passes noon. For some statistics this ticking will be very sporadic whereas for others it will be very frequent. The volume will be set so low that only someone within 3 feet of a clock will be able to hear it.
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