Zero Noon

"Zero Noon" is a digital clock that shows the current time according to eccentric metrics: it uses hundreds of different reference systems. For example, the clock can tell the time based on the average number of daily financial transactions in Brazil, or the average daily amount of cookies sold by girl scouts, or the number of animal species that become extinct per day, or the daily average number of breaths that a typical human takes, and so on. Basically, Zero Noon is a clock that is run by internet-refreshed statistics.

The clock's statistics are all synchronized so that precisely at noon they all zero and start over. At noon automatically a new metric is displayed in a different colour chosen from a determined palette. The public may also change the statistics by manually scrolling through the list using small push-buttons under the built-in display. This guarantees that the content of the clocks is always fresh and thought-provoking. The statistics come from government data, Harper’s Magazine, financial institutions, NGOs, academic studies and other trusted sources. Some of the data streams will be useful, others sobering, some of them fun. The actual metrics are chosen by the artist studio but the collector is also able to add statistics to the system.

The clock is in a matte black aluminum frame with rounded corners measuring 17" x 17" and 3.8" deep. The display is an antireflective 15.5" x 15.5" surface that produces 450 nits of brightness, suitable for broad daylight. The clock weighs approximately 20 lb and should be hung with its centre 60" from the ground.

A clock shows a large number, readable from far away: as you get closer you can read on the bottom the "fine-print" which is the actual reference baseline for that clock, e.g. the average daily number of births in the world. Each statistic is also cross-referenced with the source of the data.

The clock generates a faint "ticking" sound every time that the handle passes noon. For some statistics this ticking will be very sporadic whereas for others it will be very frequent. The volume will be set so low that only someone within 3 feet of a clock will be able to hear it.

Inside the clock is a Samsung UD22B 21.5" Square Display, a brand-new professional screen for signage, which has a high resolution of 960 x 960 pixels. Also inside the clock is a Microsoft surface computer that may be connected to the internet to manage content, timing, and other settings.

The piece exists as a single unit in edition of 12+2AP. And in a unique installation with 18 or more coordinated synchronized displays.

General info

Spanish name:
Cero al mediodía
Year of creation:

Single clock version

computer, processing software, square HD display, electronics, metal enclosure
43 x 43 x 10 cm
12 Editions, 2 AP
21C Museum, Fondation Giverny pour l’art contemporain, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and private collectors

Multiple clocks installation

1 Edition, 1 AP
Fidelity Art Collection



  • Programming: Guillaume Tremblay
  • Hardware: Guillaume Tremblay
  • Production Assistance: Julie Bourgeois, Pierre Fournier, Claudia Espinosa, Carolina Murillo-Morales, Karine Charbonneau