1206 Virtual Sunset


By 2015, the world’s IP networks will be transferring 7.3 petabytes of data every five minutes (the equivalent of every movie, ever made, every 300 seconds). Even now in 2012 we are living in a world where Facebook, with over 800 million users creates a virtual reality and other than an economic factor becomes a catalyst and platform for an endless stream of personalised moments and shared images. Sunrise and sunset on the planet are the basis of all our time association in the real world and the basis for our patterns of life. We have begun to disassociate ourselves from the universal sublime – to ourselves, our self-constructed universe – the virtual world of Avatars and profiles, emails and tweets.

Virtual Sunset is a globally connected live installation, exploring the ephemeral notion of the sunset as an everlasting continuous global event and its equivalent in our ever expanding networked environment. By Geo-positioning collected and crowd-sourced images of sunsets, Virtual sunset is creating a time based and precise mirage of the real into a virtual sunset. Please help us to create an everlasting event and upload your own sunset and Geo-locate it to create the simulacra of a shared singular sunset according to latitude and longitude. This will project a virtual sunset into the real time continuum of the sun path on earth.

Virtual Sunset was part of June’s Friday Late at the V&A Museum in London 2012 and marks the start of a 3 year design exploration into the ephemeral construction of network time on the basis of globally shared events such as the sunset. A second installation will be shown in Washington later in 2012. Via a website, the installation is live connected and visitors are able to upload memories and moments of past sunsets. The programmed intelligence of the website than categorizes all the uploaded photos and their added Geo-location and displays them synchronised to the current real-time sun path. This projects a virtual sunset into the real time continuum of the sun path on earth.

Thanks to all the helpers and the team at the V&A: Anneli Giencke, Denis Vlieghe, Dietmar Koering, Oliviu Lugojan Ghenciu, Teresa Stillebacher, Christopher Johnson, Alvaro Pulpeiro, Andrew Hum, Basil Agyropoulos, Gustav Toftgard, Tobias Schlorhaufer, Matthew Hanrahan, Alexey Marfin, Kin Ho, Tobias Jewson, Hyunwoo Chung, Sho Ito, Yuko Odaira, Kevin Primat, Kwang-Ho Chung, Harijs Alsins, Arturs Alsins, Christopher Bates (film), Miyukii Yamanaka (photography) Ruth Lie (V&A) and Cassie Davies-Strodder (V&A) and all friends of Studio Tobias Klein who have in the past and continue to upload and share their private sunsets.