The Digit is a giant chrome double-finger that looms over unwitting passers-by in Union Square, NYC. More precisely, it is a double-sided finger, with a second appendage extending out of where the rest of the hand would be. The two fingertips methodically double-tap and swipe, while reflecting the surrounding architecture on their bulbous surface.
The Digit is a virtual (augmented-reality) sculpture that can be viewed with an iPhone application available for free at the App Store. Simply launch the app when you are on the southern tip of Union Square and look up through the iPhone’s camera.
The sculpture is a response to two public art works located in Union Square – the statue of George Washington (one of the first public sculptures in New York) and Metronome – a recent installation about time that occupies 3 building facades just south of the square. Incidentally, Metronome includes an enlarged replica of GW statue’s hand (located just above the smoking hole). The Digit follows this trajectory by isolating the index digit of George Washington and appropriating it as an emblem of the digital condition.
The Digit also exist as an interactive web experience and in the form of physical souvenirs. WebGL compatible Browser Required (Firefox 4 or Chrome 9 and up) or you may need to update your graphics card driver.