ART
Moe Beitiks

Online Sunsets: A Virtual Dusk and Dawn for the Internet Addicted

by , 11/28/09
filed under: Art, New York City

Whitney Museum Virtual Sunrise, ecoarttech, whitney, sunrise, sunset, faux sunset, new york city, internet sunset

In this modern age of light pollution, cities that never sleep, 24 hour streaming TV and addictive RSS feeds, regulating one’s own circadian rhythms can be, well…difficult. And for those of us who have a computer strapped to our torsos at all times, watching a sunrise or sunset (somewhere other than Youtube) is a luxury that we are lucky to experience once in a blue moon. Luckily, the Whitney Museum of Art has developed a way for us to check out more sunsets – on their website. That’s right – EcoArtTech‘s Cary Peppermint and Christine Nadir have programmed the WMA site to dim and illuminate, corresponding with New York‘s real-life cycles of light.

ecoarttech__untitled landscape 2, ecoarttech, whitney, sunrise, sunset, faux sunset, new york city, internet sunset

Every day, at the same time as the real sunrise and sunset in NY, the Whitney website will transition from a black background to a white background and back again. These dappled light-dances will include the glowing pulses of white orbs– the size and speed of which is determined by the number of visitors to the website. Kind of like the way smog affects the Los Angeles sunset– except that instead of varied molecules scattering light, it’s clicks of the mouse.

On the plus side, visitors who are so entangled in the interwebs that they can’t tell the difference between night and day can just check the color of the Whitney site. On the down side: pixel light is not strong enough to grow kale by. That, and it’s probably not the healthiest thing (both physically and mentally) to never see the actual sun.

+ Whitney Museum of Art Website

+ EcoArtTech

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1 Comment

  1. jeanX November 29, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    When people say ‘light pollution’, I think of cities and suburbs and skywatching—looking at the stars.
    The stars where very visible over the Delaware River, in a semi-rural environment, where I once lived.
    Now, I live in a small town, where Twin Towers were visible, though more than 65 miles distant.This all
    was ruined by a floodlit flag.The flag is so high and the lights so bright, the stars don’t have a chance.

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