Climate Clock Goes on Display in SJ

An eight-story glass spaceship looking structure is designed to teach all of us about climate change.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012  |  Updated 5:43 PM PDT
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Urban Trees Adorn San Diego Bay

Scott Budman

The artist team, Geo Homsy, Chico MacMurtrie and Bill Washabaugh, won the international art design competition.

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If all goes to plan, the image at the top of this article of a solar-powered kinetic sculpture will become a new landmark of the 21st Century for the city of San Jose.

It is the winning design in the Climate Clock International Public Art Competition. The idea is to build the eight story structure at the Diridon Station downtown. The clock is supposed to mark time when it comes to global climate change.

For now, a working scale model of the winning design called Organograph is on display at San Jose City Hall.

You can see it in action from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day. It's entirely powered by the sun and opens like a flower at sunrise. The complex mechanisms show the earth's carbon cycle by moving black and white marbles that represent carbon. It also plants plants along the base that represent temperature.

"The display of the Organograph model showcases how our innovative region links art and technology to inspire public action on this pressing environmental issue,” said Kim Walesh, San Jose Director of Economic Development. “We hope private donors come forward to turn this design concept into an incredible working piece of art."

Private and philanthropic funding will be needed to pay the $20 million dollar tab for the full-scale version.

Organograph "illustrates, in a simple manner, the intangible mechanisms that govern the earth’s carbon cycle and displays how humans are changing that cycle, causing the planet to warm. Organograph is an ever-changing, participatory sculpture that invites the public to walk through its surrounding garden and come inside its 75 foot tall multi-level structure to observe, investigate, and respond to the processes of human driven climate change that have been changing the earth’s climate for the past century, and what will occur as we look forward to the next century."

The below video explains it, but be ready to feel like you are in science class.

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