Jessica Houston & Bruno Tremblay
24-hour time-lapse photography to HD video, Skagaströnd, Iceland
Solarhringur means the circle of the sun, or 24 hours, in Icelandic. This is a 24-hour time-lapse video made from still shots taken of a view onto a fjord on the northern tip of Iceland. It is a record of the passage of time, and the ephemeral qualities of the ever-changing weather and light that is particularly evident in Iceland, just shy of the Arctic. The high and low tides—the origin of the word time—reveal a larger cycle within the motion of a day, and recall a time not measured by the clock, but by natural systems.
During the same period of 24 hours, with the premise that seeing is not self evident, I asked people in the village of Skagaströnd to describe the light and dark of the sky during the moment of our exchange. Their observations provide the sound for the video, along with a voice of a young woman counting the times of day in English and Icelandic. Their descriptions of place, of the sky, and of the light, articulate weather on a human scale.
Solarhringur is an investigation of the inextricable relationship between people and the natural world. Its process of making involved an intervention that engaged people to pause and contemplate natural phenomenon. This work likewise invites viewers to pause and meditate upon the nature of change. It was made in collaboration with Dr. Tremblay, a climate scientist from McGill University.