A Mosaic Time-Lapse Visualization of the Sky for an Entire Year
By Maria Popova
Since ancient times, the sky has been an object of fixation for humanity. Just recently, we’ve explored some delightful DIY guides to cloudwatching and stargazing, but artist Ken Murphy has taken it to another level. For the past 365 days, he’s pointed his lens to the sky, using a custom camera rig affixed atop the Exploratorium museum on the edge of San Francisco Bay, and captured an image every 10 seconds. The result is A History of the Sky — a mesmerizing mosaic of time-lapse movies, each containing a 24-hour period, synced and arranged chronologically in a (slightly more mathematically convenient than the 365-day calendar) grid of 360 total rectangles.
(Full-screen is your friend here.)
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.” ~ Ken Murphy
The project is a living piece — the camera continues to collect images and integrate them with the mosaic daily, resulting in a different visualization every day reflective of the most recent 360 days.
For more astounding art based on the weather, don’t forget TED Fellow Nathalie Miebach’s striking musical weather data sculptures.
Published November 25, 2011