A San Francisco artist has looped a year's worth of images of the sky into a single, grand time-lapse video.
It's quite an artistic statement to take 360 consecutive days and smack an audience upside the head with them as one mondo package. That's what San Francisco's Ken Murphy has done, using a camera mounted on the roof of the Exploratorium that recorded images of the sky every 10 seconds for a year.
The result is Murphy's "A History of the Sky." The eye-boggling video, which looks like a flickering bathroom-wall mosaic, shows the days passing from dawn to dusk, each in its own neat little compartment. (A few days were shaved off of the total of 365 for the sake of a clean rectangle.) The first day at the top left is July 29, 2009, and the last of the sequence at lower right is from late July, 2010. The days are synchronized so that the passing hours are the same, although the weather conditions vary from cloudy to windy to calm to foggy to rain-sodden. A few humans even make a brief appearance at lower left to celebrate the city's Fleet Week.
Keeping track of it all is like trying to mentally inhale in one gulp the wildly blipping screens of the New York Stock Exchange. But it's a pleasant exercise nonetheless. Watch "A History of the Sky" below. Here's Murphy's artist-statement-of-sorts if you'd like a read (more interesting time-lapse projects are posted on his blog):
Time-lapse movies are compelling because they give us a glimpse of events that are continually occurring around us, but at a rate normally far too slow to for us to observe directly. A History of the Sky enables the viewer to appreciate the rhythms of weather, the lengthening and shortening of days, and other atmospheric events on an immediate aesthetic level: the clouds, fog, wind, and rain form a rich visual texture, and sunrises and sunsets cascade across the screen....
This will also be an active piece. The camera will continue to collect images and integrate them with the montage daily. The visualization will therefore vary from day to day, and will always display the most recent 365 days.