Paul Ramírez Jonas
Artist in the Public Realm


A Better Yesterday, 1999

Click here to listen to a recording of the automaton

MATERIALS: Musical automaton, tricycle.

    The city was turned into a clockface. The 12 hours were painted on pavement, buildings and awnings forming a circle around the city center. The historic bell tower at the center of the circle and the city, allowed the viewing of the numbers from an elevated point of view. This delivery tricycle was integrated into an automated organ. The organ automatically played an intermixing of It's a small world after all and L'Internationale every hour on the hour. The tricycle moved and parked on top of the number corresponding to the upcoming hour. When the cathedral's bell tower rang in the time it chimed a religious song. The tricycle organ responded with its secular tune. For example, before noon the bike would park on 12.  At noon the bell tower chimed and the tricycle responded.
The tricycle acted as the hour hand of the clock and circumnavigated the city in a day.