An indeterminate number of live web cameras point towards the sky. The collective presence of all these images are aggregated together into an additive composite. While it is possible to distinguish individual characteristics from each location the composite becomes a hybrid of all sky— the impossible sky.
The project is very simple, elegant, and even whimsical but most important draws attention to the changing landscape of nature, space, and human interaction with its environment. The project relies on the infrastructure of digital networks to create a new dimension where time and space are compressed into a fraction of what it once was. This compression of time and space in return creates new meaning and understanding of the wild and complex relationship we have to nature. Poetically the project captures a sense of wonder and meditation in the same way that we loose ourselves by lying down and looking upwards at the stars, clouds or birds in the sky.
A self-running program harnesses a multitude of web cameras around the world that are pointed to the sky. These cameras simultaneously upload their still images to a remote server for further downloading by the installation. Once the installation has received all images it adds each individual location to a buffer of images. These time-lapse sequences are then mixed together through a series of algorithms to create a blend of all locations into one composite. The installation is designed to be projected onto a ceiling or hanging fabric. Below, a bed or reclined chairs are placed so that passersby can take pause and look upwards at the changing skies around them. The way in which we navigate this new impossible sky is made possible through digital networks and technology that enable us to experience spaces in unforeseen ways, by bringing the global outdoors, indoors.
In past versions people from around the world have volunteered their web cameras for several days. This opens up the work so that at any time people can add their ‘sky’ to the artwork. The work grows and shrinks with complexity as the number of people who volunteer grows and shrinks. The collaboration becomes the projected canvas where remote locations come and go for days at a time adding to the complexity and ever changing patterns of the resulting image. In other more prescribed and controlled versions, a dedicated quorum of locations uploads or streams their images to facilitate an expression of collaboration amongst remote groups.
Impossible Sky— Digital Cotton— Atlanta, Georgia 2005
Impossible Sky— dis-solve— Savannah, Georgia 2004
Impossible Sky— Scanning Nature— DeLeon White Gallery 2004