The installation on the hotel rooftop in Kijkduin

Horizon in sight: 8.785 portraits of the exact same view!

Building a machine to photograph the horizon at every full hour of an entire year. The idea might never have materialised it I hadn't happened to meet photo technician Roelof de Vries in October 2011. And if I hadn't found the director of hotel NH Atlantic willing to provide us with a square meter of space on the roof of the hotel.

Together with Roelof, I spent the last two months of 2011 searching for all sorts of useful parts and equipment. Following a lot of DIY-fun and frustration absorbing almost all of the Christmas holidays, we managed to get the machine working on New Year's eve at 18h, 6 hours before the start of the project. Our alternative eye witness report of the year 2012 was ready to start writing itself.

From midnight onwards, an incessant stream of hourly horizon portraits started pooring in. During the first weeks, they had to be resized and uploaded manually because the construction of the machine had eaten away so much time from the website preparations. But as the year advanced, so did the website and the scripts running on our computer.

What was then left to do was to just sit back and relax. And see more and more people joining us. But not everybody was instantly convinced of the interest and importance of the project. So many images on such a fluid medium - that makes it easy to get lost. Like quite some people did, visiting briefly and to then move on.

First exhibition

In order to make the invitation into Space and Tranquillity meet its expectations, we needed more. During a trip to the South-German city of Freiburg, I realised that it was time to create a physical showcase of our work. That wish took three months to materialise. Gallery Broft/Van der Horst granted us a weekend (later extended to a week) in their premises minutes away from the Noordeinde Palace in Den Haag.

Show less, with more care. Spatious, comprehensive and tangible rather than fugititve and virtual. The exhibition led to a wealth of enthusiasm, and an impact many times what we had gathered up until that moment, no matter the modest size of the exhibition. A touch of pleasure and encouragement, but with only two more months separating us from the end of the project.

Visit the first NEW HORIZONS exhibition, photo by Roelof de Vries
(click image to navigate):

Completion and New start

I spent New Year's Eve in the hotel that hosted our camera. At 5 minutes past midnight, I pulled the plug. This is where the fairytale ended. But it didn't. We were only days away from the start of the next episode of the adventure.

"It is time for a book" : Read on

NEW HORIZONS composition with music

On the occasion of the first NEW HORIZONS exhibition, I joint forces with musician Matthijs Spek to create this remarkable and tranquillising video. What you see (preferrably in full-screen mode): is one day passing in 25 hourly horizon photos. The Hague - NL, 14.07.2012: