Horizon presents a grid of images accessed in real time from twenty-four
webcams, one located in every time zone of the world. Each of these feeds is a data stream that the artists Thomson & Craighead have discovered online, and appropriated here as their artistic medium. The work is displayed on a screen installed vertically. Images from the webcam at Greenwich Meantime are shown in a sequence running across its centre. The strips of images above and below increase and decrease outwards by one hour each time, showing a series of vistas that gradually span the globe. From top to bottom and left to right, the images update one by one, with each full cycle of updates taking about 10 minutes. The process is reminiscent of the way images would load bit by bit in the early days of the Internet.
Thomson explains that ‘The result is a constantly updating array of images that read like a series of movie storyboards, but also as an idiosyncratic global electronic sundial.’ By giving the age-old sundial a digital makeover, Thomson & Craighead allow us to experience the passage of time on a single screen. The horizon is the only constant and, in a sense, the work is a contemporary rumination on the classical theme of landscape. The artists present a landscape for the present that ‘connects our physical location with the wider sphere of influence that the virtual world affords us… being ‘here’ and ‘there’ at the same time.’ As with much of Thomson & Craighead’s work, it reflects on the way that ‘live networks’, like the Internet, have shifted the way we view the world around us.
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