World Sunset Device Capture Event Phenomenon
Repetitive in nature, the Camera Ubique photographs everything everywhere, compelled to record and index.
In addition to my reanimation of dead media, I am interested in the current animation of what I call the Camera Ubique - the everywhere camera -- in which see ourselves in terms of the multi-modal, kaleidoscopic and shared frame. In particular, I am intrigued by the emerging phenomenon of device capture or image making at sunset as a global creative act, a phenomenon that engages the cinematic on a seemingly infinite scale.
As the Earth rotates on its axis, there are two spectral arcs ever present in its atmosphere, caused by the refraction of the Sun’s rays at a steep angle. Called the ‘magic hour’ by cinematographers, the soft and warm colouration of dusk makes magic with the camera lens. Harsh brights disappear and shadows reveal the intricacies of form. At this attenuated moment we connect to the sublime, we are given a light show, we are able to look directly at the Sun. We lift our cameras.
At any given moment of sunrise and sunset (more so at sunset because at dawn most of us still sleep), there are an ever-growing number of people holding cameras up to record the event. This means that a continuous event of photo capture is taking place, that as a collective we are creatively amassing a vast and constantly expanding global set of data on the sunrise and sunset.
I find the event in itself is to be profound. It signals meaning. We are acting together to form an endless amassing of data. The data is collected this at a moment when we are each enlightened, brought into the grandeur of the perceptual. What has taken shape is a creative project, an artwork with a never-ending massive scale.
The person who takes the cell phone camera knowingly engages with the cinematic, with a noospheric consciousness of image-realm (endless sharing and uploading of images to the internet) and aesthetics of a screen-based media. The person who captures this image does so also with the awareness of others capturing like images, with the potential to share the image instantaneously and globally.
The implication is that we act as a collective with this Camera Ubique. We are keeping time as a constant plastic rotational field, a line of human beings constantly moving to the edge of the global shadow, lifting cameras and capturing images of the sunset. This justifies on a conceptual level the generation of millions of “terrible” pictures of sunrises and sunsets, now we know what they are “for,” we can understand what happens with this multitude of shutter clicks, this now constant planetary event.
The question is, what is the outcome of this habit? We all feel a quickening of time – with the speeding up of technology, of “sharing” as a constant, immediate and instantaneous multiplicity of contact in a hyper-field of relations, our sense of time is not what it was. Could this event itself be quickening time, layering exponentially the complexity of experience?