San Jose: : Permanent public artwork unveiled at Mineta San José International Airport
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Mineta San José International Airport (SJC)

Elisabeth Handler, Public Information Manager, Office of Economic Development and Cultural Affairs (OEDCA)

PHOTO (Photo credit: John Janca)

Permanent public artwork unveiled at Mineta San José International Airport
"A million Times (San José)" – art and technology reimagine time

SAN JOSE, Calif. (September 21, 2021) – The City of San José and Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) welcome the installation of a new artwork in the pre-security Arrivals Hall of Terminal B. The artwork titled A million Times (San José) presents clocks as objects that transcend their ordinary functional existence - providing a hypnotic experience for the viewer. The effect is best seen in the video of the artwork.

Composed of 160 clock faces with white hands set against a black stone-like surface, the piece combines software, hardware, sensors, and contemporary aesthetics. By programing the clock hands to spin individually, but in formation, the artwork reports time accurately while also playfully representing the concept of time passing.

Within the collection of choreographies, three compositions were custom designed by the artists for A million Times (San José), each taking inspiration from the location of the artwork within SJC and San José itself. These abstract patterns draw upon San José as an engine for technological development, the city's close proximity to the ocean, and the busy hub of the airport with its ever-rotating arrivals and departures. These reference points share a common, cyclical theme: everything is perpetually in motion, fluid, and changing.

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"Travel, time and art are concepts that work and play together in life and in imagination," said John Aitken, Director of Mineta San José International Airport. "As we emerge from what has felt to many like warped time, it's a pleasure to welcome this particular installation to SJC. Travel is known to provide inspiration, and the Airport is a perfect stage for this piece with its artful mechanics, intricately moving parts, and on-time performance."

"Being the urban core of Silicon Valley, San José is fortunate to have a deep cultural heritage and serve as the crossroads for technology and art," said Michael Ogilvie, Public Art Director for the City of San José. "It is exciting to have a partner in SJC to support our ambitious and wide-ranging public art program and to bring this fascinating artwork A million Times by Humans since 1982 to SJC to mesmerize, relax, and surprise the curious traveler."

Bastian Bischoff, co-founder of Humans since 1982, explains, "The passage of time feels particularly relevant in the context of the airport. By placing this work in SJC, we intend to turn waiting into a reflective and meditative opportunity, creating a space where people choose and enjoy the experience of waiting."

The artists, Humans since 1982, were selected by a panel of Bay Area artists, arts administrators, and airport stakeholders to bring a unique vision of time to SJC.

Funded through a percentage of Airport Capital Improvement funds, the piece will become a permanent signature artwork, as part of SJCs Art + Technology Public Art Program.

About the City of San José
With more than one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is Northern California's largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation. San José's transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City's anticipated growth through the year 2040.

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About SJC: Transforming How Silicon Valley Travels
Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) is Silicon Valley's airport, a self‐supporting enterprise owned and operated by the City of San Jose. The airport, now in its 72nd year, served nearly 15.7 million passengers in 2019, with nonstop service across North America and to Europe and Asia. For more airport information, visit

About the City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs
The Office of Cultural Affairs is the City's lead agency for supporting and promoting the development of a rich arts and cultural environment for this diverse city's one million residents, its workers who live in neighboring communities, and its many visitors. It fosters cultural development through cultural funding programs, cultural workforce development, specials event services, and public art. For more information, visit

About Humans since 1982
Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Humans since 1982 is a contemporary art studio established in 2009 by Bastian Bischoff and Per Emanuelsson. Their interdisciplinary team is made up of international specialists including programmers, designers and technicians. They are known for their subversion of everyday objects including clocks, smartphones and surveillance equipment. Their collaboration brings together conceptual exploration with mischievousness and meticulous problem solving to create works that are deceptively minimal, despite the complex methodology behind each piece. For more about the artists, visit the Humans since 1982 website.

Filed Under: Government, City

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