• Visual Arts

World's Ugliest Public Art

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Sarah Cocke

You can’t hide from these public art monstrosities, whether wandering Prague or Denver International Airport.

Metronome, New York City

2 of 13

Ever wish that public clocks were harder to use? Then this overblown work, built in 1999 to celebrate the millennium, has your number. Mounted on a building facing buzzing Union Square, it includes a brick wall with a disembodied hand and a hole that halfheartedly belches steam at noon and midnight, an easily overlooked sphere that tracks the moon’s phases, and a faux metronome/pendulum that does…nothing. To the left is a row of 15 LED digits: to use this tourist-puzzler of a clock, check out the first four digits to get the (military-style) time of day. Ignore the rest.

World's Ugliest Public Art

Metronome, New York City

Ever wish that public clocks were harder to use? Then this overblown work, built in 1999 to celebrate the millennium, has your number. Mounted on a building facing buzzing Union Square, it includes a brick wall with a disembodied hand and a hole that halfheartedly belches steam at noon and midnight, an easily overlooked sphere that tracks the moon’s phases, and a faux metronome/pendulum that does…nothing. To the left is a row of 15 LED digits: to use this tourist-puzzler of a clock, check out the first four digits to get the (military-style) time of day. Ignore the rest.

Sarah Cocke
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