HERE FOR EVER CAM
Interactive Media Division
USC School of Cinematic Arts
the consequences of planting a live digital camera firmly in the earth and keeping it there forever.
First, where? Let’s say public land, places of cultural or physical interest. It would need to be deeply staked in the ground.
Second, it would need protection. Someone, or a group, or a government, would need to pledge custodianship, forever. The best example is the agreement required by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre of a host government when it names a new site.
Third, the camera itself would require some novel design considerations. It could be panoramic, possibly stereo-panoramic, but via a panoramic lens or a pan/tilt head, and if so, who controls it? Though it represents a single spot, at what height? With variable height? If it’s connected to the Internet, how? And at what speed? (Perhaps it doesn’t matter, since it’s there forever!)
Finally, what’s the result? It would certainly provide a powerful visual baseline for long-term environmental changes. It could also provide “gigapixel” images, possibly accumulated over time. Perhaps most interesting, it could be used to make unique “hyper-real” images in which more (or less) can happen within the same frame. Hence, the actual display interface is a rich and challenging research project.
Long Now Foundation
National Geographic Society
UNESCO World Heritage Centre
“Century Cam” idea by Sam Raimi
“A Short History of America” by Robert Crumb (left)
“World Wide Webs Cams”