NASA.gov live solar camera, clock, playing/hanging together
"It takes eight minutes for the sun’s light to travel to planet Earth, so when we look at the sun, what we are really seeing is the sun as it was eight minutes ago. This idea that our view of the sun-- and by extension, our perception of all nature-- is inherently mediated and anachronistic, seems somehow emblematic of the ecological situation we find ourselves in: humanity as a population of creatures unable to jive rhythmically with the planet on which we reside, and the planetary bodies which sustain us.
As I considered what an artwork about this topic might look like, I soon found myself lost in a rabbithole of online solar imagery: stills and videos from NASA and other astrological sites showing the sun from different angles, through different lenses, in different states of waxing, waning, eclipse, explosive fusion. A bevy of mediations, of portraits, really, of this thing, the sun. I was reminded of a Ray Bradbury story in which the sun comes out only once every seven years, for one day. In the tale, children who can remember the sun fight over what it looked and felt like: "It's like a penny!" says one. "No, it's like a fire, in the stove!" says another.
It occurs to me that for humans, there is no such thing as an unadulterated sun. Even when we sneak a forbidden, squinted glance up to it in the sky-- what we are seeing is always eight minutes behind."
- Kaitlin Pomerantz