Caspar Sonnen's Programmer Pick: 24h Sunset/Sunrise v2​

    • Festival
    • November 21, 2020
    • By Maricke Nieuwdorp & Caspar Sonnen

    Throughout the festival, the IDFA programmers will present their favorite hidden gems within the program. Today: Caspar Sonnen, Head of New Media and IDFA DocLab. His tip: 24h Sunset/Sunrise v2 by Dries Depoorter and Shishani Vranckx.

    Earlier this year, when it became clear that we had to seriously consider an online edition of the festival, our initial reaction was rather melancholic, not a happy one. We started IDFA DocLab in 2007 to move digital art from the internet to the physical and collective context of a festival for ten days. In the midst of that weird period, while we were in lockdown as a team, the entries poured in.

    One maker inventively transformed his physical installation into a brilliant Zoom experience, the other kept bravely clinging on to an intensely sensory experience on location. They were all right, because no one knew what time and space would really look like in November. While we as a team wondered in Zoom calls what form DocLab should and could take, our collective understanding of time and space increasingly lost its classic meaning. At that moment, media artist Dries Depoorter approached us with a deceptively simple idea: a live stream of places where the sun rises or sets.

    Some makers start with a story and look for a proper form later. With Dries it often works the other way around. For example, he started once with data from your phone battery (as in his app Die With Me that went viral), or with live webcam images. Just as Alan Berliner is a master in finding and using archive material, the Flemish Depoorter is a star in the emergence of obscure online video streams. Think of cameras that monitor traffic situations, cameras that hang in offices and cameras that film weather conditions on coasts.

    In a world where our perception of time is becoming rather fluid, 24h Sunset/Sunrise v2 felt like a bull's eye. The crack of dawn is such a powerful, universal image; cinematic, cliché, immensely beautiful, and ultimately quotidian at the same time. With the support of the Film Fund, we were then able to link Dries to the Namibian-Dutch singer-songwriter Shishani Vranckx. She developed a sacred sound composition that added a whole new dimension to Dries' grainy internet images. And so we were suddenly moved, staring at a sunrise in Australia. In a year in which we no longer travel and we are being stuck in our living rooms sometimes, sunrise is no longer a slick Hollywood cliché or a careless marking between two days. It has become an internet work of art. A fireplace that you can watch while it moves endlessly around the world.

    24h Sunset/Sunrise v2 is available throughout the festival within the do {not} touch Expo.

    24h Sunset/Sunrise v2

    • 2020

      Two screens show a live sunrise and sunset taking place at the same time somewhere in the world, using images from unsecured surveillance cameras. A live soundscape underscores the beauty that is accidentally captured by surveillance.

      More info


      do {not} touch: Expo

      • November 4, 2020

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