What *is* that sculpture installation thing at the south of Union Square, anyway?

York Restoration Corp Metronome

Well! It’s an art installation called “Metronome” by Kristin Jones and Andrew Ginzel, chosen in a national competition. What does it do? Well… it counts down time in strange ways.

Get ready for a lengthy explanation from the Observer:

The hole in the wall is a five-foot-wide circle called “the Infinity.” It is designed to emit steam as a symbol of the city’s internal energy and of the earth itself…

The Kong-size hand-“the Relic”-is an enlarged replica of the right hand of the equestrian statue of George Washington in Union Square Park…

The gold leaf applied around “the Infinity” is “the Source.” It symbolizes the ultimate source of energy. The black-and-gold billiard ball-shaped protrusion is a rotating sphere which will keep us up to date on the phases of the moon…

The needle in the eye of God is called “the Focus”; it’s a half-inch in diameter at its top, but widens to 18 inches at its base 67 feet below. It will produce a low tone at noon and midnight. The 15 windows will display how many past- and pre-midnight hours exist, and are collectively entitled “the Passage.”

There you have it! It’s art that requires… well, not really “thought” but “explanation,” and lengthy explanation at that. Not my cup of tea, but it definitely draws the eye, if nothing else.

I’m generally reminded of other things when I look up and see the numbers winding down (I thought it was a running count on the national debt, the first few times I stumbled across it). The hole-and-steam portion looks more to me like someone fired a giant golden bottle rocket at a brick/water facade than some sorta of allegory for time, but what do I know? I only look at buildings.

This post brought to you by York Restoration Corporation


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