Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hidden realities 3 - Webcam sun

As I showed in two previous blog-posts a simple webcam can reveal mysterious, hidden realities. Phenomena that are rare or unimaginable in daily life, become possible in the virtual world of the webcam.
In 1997, the writer Jeff Kent discovered that a double sunset could be seen from the top of a nearby mountain. The occurrence is visible in good weather on and around the summer solstice, when the sun sets on the summit of the hill, partially reappears from its steep northern slope and sets for a second and final time shortly afterwards. The precise event and its location are described in Kent's book The Mysterious Double Sunset.

Phenomena that you will never see in real life can be experienced in this parallel reality:
The phenomenon is named after Johann Tobias Lowitz, a German-born Russian apothecary and experimental chemist. On the morning of June 18, 1790 in St. Petersburg, Russia, Lowitz witnessed a spectacular display of solar halos. Among his observations, he noted arcs descending from the sundogs and extending below the sun. Lowitz formally reported the phenomenon to the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences on October 18, 1790, including a detailed illustration of what he had witnessed.
And even phenomena from art can suddenly reappear in the sight of the camera. See the mysterious, hovering black square that Dario d'Aronco exposed in Witte de With gallery:
The prevailing impression is that this is not art but a presentation of an existing physical phenomenon. The artist has witnessed something, has been able to record it (against the odds) and is presenting the raw recording. An unexplained and mysterious phenomenon. But also  strangely reassuring. The world is still unknown, there are still white spots on the map. If we search hard enough we can still discover strangeness. If we find the right place and the right time we too can see the floating square against the night sky.

  • With the webcam we have found the right place and time. And we have seen the floating square against the sky.
  • Now go one step further ... what if the black square is really there, always present. Imagine that it is there, each time you look from your window. That you almost could see it. That we often are too distracted to notice it.
  • This will enrich you, through webcam revelation.

Note: This was a fortuitous accident with the webcam. It was not my intention to re-imagine d'Aronco's artwork. But it was a pleasant surprise and a confirmation of my private "paranoid critical method":
... the conscious exploitation of the unconscious, the spontaneous method of irrational knowledge based on the critical and systematic objectifications of delirious associations and interpretations.

1 comment:

  1. First magical image reminds me of Max Ernst. I like the Dark Matters perspective of viewing realty ;)