Over three years before the 2020 Presidential Election, a Donald Trump countdown clock appeared on the East River waterfront in Long Island City. The giant digital clock is attached to the exterior of a building, with flashy red digital numbers counting down the time Donald Trump has left in office during his first term as the U.S. President. The first four digits count down days left, and the last two digits show the hours left. [Update: The clock has hit zero. See the photos from the morning of January 20th, 2021).
The Trump countdown clock in Queens follows the tradition of other large countdown clocks here in New York City, one in Union Square and the National Debt clock in Midtown. The Union Square clock counts down time that has elapsed and time left in the day and it was briefly switched to a Climate Clock. The Trump countdown clock was installed in June 2017 by a group of artists and creatives, including the editor of The Creative Independent Brandon Stosuy, Jade Archuleta-Gans, Matthew Barney, Jane Lea, and lighting designer Kenzan Tsutakawa-Chinn during a comedy event at Barneys’ Long Island City waterfront studio, according to DNAinfo. If you’re looking for it, it’s between the Eleventh Street Basin and the pier at the end of 44 Dr., on the river-facing side of a warehouse. It’s just next to the site where Amazon had hoped to build its New York City headquarters.
Photo of the Trump countdown clock taken on June 6, 2018
The clock itself does not provide any context of its relevance to the Trump presidency, and the artists behind the giant clock did not actively publicize the project, hoping the viewers would eventually realize the connection between the clock and the White House themselves. “We see it as a civic project, like the national debt clock, and we don’t want it to become about who made it. We figure what it does is clear enough without us elaborating on it.We wanted people to focus on the idea itself,” says one of the creators Brandon Stosuy, “It’s been great to hear that people have received some piece of mind from it!”
Photo of the Trump countdown clock taken on September 27, 2019. The hours digits were not working that day.
Stosuy told DNAinfo that if Trump left office earlier than expected, the clock was programmed to jump to zero. After former Vice President Joe Biden was projected to be the winner of the 2020 Presidential Election by various media outlets this past weekend, the clock’s number hit 71. Just three days prior, Stosuy said on Twitter that “we just might get to unplug this thing after all.” The clock will be turned off on President Trump’s last day in office. Also, people searching for “Trump Countdown Clock Amazon” is a thing apparently, but the results are surprisingly scant: this clock seems to be the only active listing. Tweet us @UntappedNY and let us know what you think the clock should countdown next!
Photo taken November 10, 2020