J A M E S  B R Y A N T

Into the horizonoftheinfinite.Net, 2018

"Into the horizonoftheinfinite.NET" is a digital installation that displays an ever-changing, but never-ending, image of sunset and sunrise. Each image is broadcast live from a web camera that is linked to at the actual time of sunset and sunrise in the host country.

The inspiration for the work was to explore the feeling that it is the earth’s rotation that defines time; that time as we know it is catalogued by the movement of the earth, on its axis and also in orbit around the sun, and as such it’s an arbitrary period of duration that dictates so much about how we live, how we understand who we are. In the introduction to Henri Bergson’s Duration and Simultaneity, Leon Jacobson succinctly describes this phenomenon with the following sentence, “For us, it is the earth's rotation that is the model motion tracing the path of time. Time then seems to us "like the unwinding of a thread, like the journey of the mobile [the earth] entrusted with measuring it.”

As the work evolved it became apparent that there is an attempt to freeze time, to halt the turning rotation of the earth in a moment of nostalgia; perched on the horizon we are given a fleeting opportunity to hold on to something before it’s gone forever. Discovering that the earth is moving away from the sun, albeit fractionally, every year, heightens the feeling of a fear of the void that has led to the title’s appropriation of Friedrich Nietzsche’s writing titled “In the horizon of the infinite” from The Gay Science; the website created almost becomes a doomsday clock as each year the image of sun becomes smaller and smaller, but it also refers to a feeling of losing oneself in the everyday digital landscape.

The work exists in multiple formats. Its engine is a website created by linking to a vast array of disparate web cameras situated around the world. The image displayed comprises a multitude of aesthetics and often very low-quality reproductions, often subject to buffering and delay, intentionally feasting on the archetypal romantic view. As a public presentation it has been shown as large projections, sculptural artefacts and incidental placements on television sets within people’s homes.


Links:
Into the horizonoftheinfinite.Net (diptych)
Into the horizonoftheinfinite.Net (sunset)
Into the horizonoftheinfinite.Net (sunrise)

Credits:
PHP programming by Benjamin Hall

Writing mentioned:
The Gay Science (British Library)
Duration & Simultaneity (Scribd)











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