Look up from the river, is it a ferry-passenger ticker? Is it a Powerball Jackpot ad? At the very northern end of Gantry Park there is a large red digital display. At first glance, the meaning of the numbers would leave one bewildered. But with a little sleuthing we were able to solve the mystery.1 Spoiler alert
First, as any avid long-time reader of LICtalk would already know, the building to which the clock is attached is the studio of art provocateur Matthew Barney. Hmm. Next we divided the numerator by the denominator, multiplied it by the day of the month and subtracted Lucky 7 from it to arrive at January 20, 2020 – the day of the next presidential inauguration! Therefore we must conclude that Matthew Barney has a large Trump Countdown Clock on the East River in Long Island City2 that is easily viewable by many in midtown Manhattan.3
Furthermore, now that the meaning has been revealed, the juxtaposition of the clock with another completely unrelated video projection art project by Andrew Ratcliff called Candela, adds a whole new layer for those gazing at it head on. The latter is a video loop of a long burning candle projected against an old brick smokestack located about a hundred yards off the river in back of the clock. When viewed from Manhattan or Roosevelt Island and imbued with the meaning of the clock it functions like a memorial candle, once again placing Long Island City at the center of the universe, both artistically and politically.
Candela – the candle lights at 6pm and becomes visible slightly before sundown