Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Anniversaries: Happy 600th Birthday to Prague's Astronomical Clock

Video: themacula.com and Vimeo.

Boing Boing is circulating a story about the anniversary of the Astronomical Clock in Prague's Old Town Square The video above shows ten minutes' worth of amazing projected animated art upon the clock that ranges from the sublime, to the medieval, to the apocalyptic, to the digital. From the Boing Boing report: "From Prague, a video-mapping show projected on the medieval Astronomical Clock in the city's Old Town Square. Part of a celebration for the 600th anniversary of the clock's construction. ... BB reader Kerray says, 'The people who worked on it are themacula.com, duber.cz and michalkotek.com, and the projection itself was done by avmedia.cz. Four months of work, 5000x1200 resolution, 2x Christie 18K HD projectors.'"

The Astronomical Dial. Image: Wikipedia.

The oldest part of the clock, which combines time-keeping with astronomical and astrological functions, dates back to 1410. Wiki confirms that the legend about the clock-maker having his eyes put out so that he could not repeat such beautiful work is not historically accurate: "Formerly, it was believed that the Orloj was constructed in 1490 by clockmaster Jan Růže (also called Hanuš); this is now known to be a historical mistake. A legend, recounted by Alois Jirásek, has it that the clockmaker Hanuš was blinded on the order of the Prague Councillors so that he could not repeat his work; in turn, he broke down the clock, and no one was able to repair it for the next hundred years."

Legend for the Astronomical Dial. Image: Wikipedia.

The clock's astronomical movements and calculations are explained in an animated online presentation here. There is a detailed explanation of the five kinds of time that the clock tells here.  Another section of the clock shows the calendar and the seasons (below).  At the top, doors in the clock open and all twelve Apostles appear on every hour.  The homepage for the Orloj is here.

The Calendar. Image: Wikipedia.


  1. Thanks for the nice article, that was a mindblowing clip... really cool ;)

  2. That's one of the most amazing and beautiful displays I've ever seen. I've got to put up a link to your site for this.

  3. It's amazing isn't it? I can't believe they did this all with projectors.

  4. Thank you. You've overwhelmed me with delight.

  5. It's a remarkable display. I was lucky to find it and repost.

  6. I am beyond amazed. I am from New Zealand and my country just doesn't have this kind of history. I am awed. In the last week I have ‘discovered’ astrolabes and it was a supermarket checkout lad who asked if I knew of this beautiful clock. Nothing will stop me from seeing it in person now and it is nice to feel the joys of the internet again. Thank you for the information and the video. Truly astounding.

  7. You're most welcome! Seeing the clock, and Prague in general, in real life, is worth it.