13. Helvetictoc

Tobie Langel (Switzerland)

Location: Millennium Place

A projection telling the time using words

Turning back the clock to a time before digital, Helvetictoc reminds us of an era before the smartphone when time was often expressed in more conversational terms. Reading the time in words, rather than from a clock face, activates different parts of the brain and forces us to pause and respond to time differently. The relative imprecision of the projected sentences in this artwork are reminiscent of the almost abandoned act of asking a stranger for the time. Helvetictoc has been a permanent artwork in Millennium Place since Lumiere 2013.


About Tobie Langel

Originally a professional jazz drummer, Tobie Langel traded music for web development and is now an open-source and web standards consultant for tech companies including Google, Microsoft and Intel.

Accessibility information

Stepped access between Millennium Place and Freeman’s Place: available next to the Premier Inn/Missoula.  There are 4 flights of steps consisting of 8/11/12/12 steps.

Stepped access between Missoula and Ebony: 2 flights of steps consisting of 7/7 steps.

Stepped access between Ebony and Gala Theatre: 2 flights of steps consisting of 8/8 steps.

Seating available within Millennium Place with adequate lighting in the area. 

Lift access from Walkergate Car Park and Freeman’s Place to Millennium Place: There is lift access from within Walkergate Carpark and also from Freeman’s Place below Fat Buddha restaurant. There are power-assisted doors to each lift. Access to Level 1 – Riverside ground level, Level 5 – bars and lower level of Millennium place, Level 7 – upper level, restaurants and Gala theatre. Car parks close at midnight.

Platform lift: Within Millennium place there is a platform lift available to go between the upper and lower levels of Millennium Place, this is situated next to the Bishops Mill pub. 

Access from Milburngate Bridge: There is ramped access from Milburngate bridge. The ramp is situated behind the library with adequate handrails and lighting. The surface is block paving.

Access from Claypath:  steep downward slope from Claypath towards Millennium Place. Paved foothpath.


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