Thursday, March 19, 2015

From a strange planet - 6

Road webcam fascination
The silent pictures of Scandinavian traffic-webcams have a strange fascination for me. I'm trying to analyze this effect. My previous analyses of the webcam obsession are here: part 5, part 4, part 3, part 2, part 1. I used video, fiction, literary criticism and art to think about this strange window on far-away worlds. In this post I pick a few curiosities I noticed.

Why different?
The webcam shows a tiny segment of the world. It forces you to look deep and hard. A tiny sliver of reality that you get to know very well. I'm just as interested in the view from my window. But somehow the webcam is different. Maybe recorded pictures on a screen stimulate the analytic view more than looking out a window. Maybe it's the feeling that the webcam picture is far away and more special.

Astronomic phenomena
Sometimes the camera catches the moon or the sun. This is a sunset and moonrise at RV80 Nordvika.
And of course this easterly orientation also shows the sunrise.
People sightings
In a few rare cases there are people in the webcam pictures. Here someone is waiting at E6 Langfjordbjotn. For the bus? It does not look like a bus stop.
And at the same place someone is coming and going. Did he/she pick up something or someone? Was it a success or a disappointment? Impossible to tell.
And here someone is walking along the seaside. He is slowly approaching the webcam at Fv662 Senjahopen.


Google has spontaneously decided that some webcam pictures need to be prettified. This is the "auto awesome" function. I find it very ironic that these bleakly functional pictures have been transformed into romantic Christmas cards. (Fv662 Senjahopen and E6 Snasa)
Video glitch
And while making the time-lapse video I generated a few spontaneous glitches. These computer generated landscapes are strangely appealing and appropriate.

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