Designers from Israel hope to install a solar-powered doomsday clock in Times Square, where it will count down to 12-21-2012. Using cutting-edge technology, including concentrated photovoltaic power and LED lights, the glowing four meter globe is designed to harness humanity’s attention in the lead up to the so-called end of times.
But there’s a twist. The creative might behind O*GE are smart, reasonable people who aren’t going to blow their life-savings before the Mayan calendar ends. They’re not drafting goodbye texts because the sun’s December solstice is due to align with the center of our galaxy. Instead, they’re planning to stage a massive party to usher in the seconds, minutes and hours expected to follow 21h12, 12-21-2012.
O*GE burst onto the sustainable design scene in 2009 with a garden full of solar-powered flowers in Jerusalem. They have since worked on several large projects throughout Israel, including a combined fashion and street art event south of Tel Aviv.
The solar-powered doomsday clock design released today is probably their most ambitious project to date, and if they’re going to get it off the ground, they’re going to need significant help.
A sound concept complete with solar energy generation and storage, moving parts and LED lights, the self-sufficient doomsday clock could showcase the sun’s constructive power. This juxtaposes many expectations that a terrible solar storm will scorch all of humanity while we’re arguing over whether or not it’s politically-correct to wish someone a merry Christmas.
What’s the point, you might be thinking, of investing so much time and energy in a clock that will either count down to armageddon or another ordinary day?
O*GE co-founder Gaston Zahr told Green Prophet that he and his peers recently joked about the end of days for which so many people around the world are preparing. And then – perhaps quite suddenly – they started to take seriously the idea of designing a solar-powered timer that would count down to the infamous day.
“There are always many people predicting the end of the world on a specific date and then that day passes and everything is as normal as the day before,” he explained to us. “So we are rather prepared that life goes on.”
And when it does, they’re going to throw a party – only this street party in the heart of Times Square will kick off with a glittering 3 meter disco ball that will spill out from the doomsday clock’s glowing red belly.
Of course, the team must overcome many hurdles yet.
Not only will they need to raise the necessary funds, for which they have initiated an Indiegogo campaign, but they’ll have to get permission to erect the mechanical orb in one of the most heavily-guarded areas of New York City.
“Usually public art projects battle to receive funding,” Zahr notes, “while permissions are usually more bureaucratic issues. However, we hope that we will get some help from other people who did such things at this location already.”
Zahr is referencing Denmark designer BIG’s giant heart installation that lit up Times Square on Valentine’s Day this year.
“We are working very hard on it now,” said Zahr. “Because time is running out, we have to progress very quickly. After Dec 21, it won’t be worth a mention anymore and we will end up like all the end-time-prophets.”