Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Sunrise Views at Kralingse Zoom Parking Garage

I wrote about how the Kralingse Zoom parking garage is probably a pretty good spot for watching sunset and/or sunrise. I have since seen both. The sunset is not entirely visible because it sets behind the city buildings in the east, you cannot see the moment it goes down. The colours can still be quite impressive if the weather is good and the lights from the sunset act to engulf and delineate the Rotterdam skyline.

The sunrise, though, gives a more instantaneously stimulating visual (as shown in these photos). It's legitimately print-on-calendar stuff. I know that's not the best way to describe any scenery but I guess the sentiment I'm looking for is "objectively beautiful". That's a paradoxical phrasing too. What I really mean is it fits within an average human conception of what beauty is. I have no contention with this ordinary standard. People travel to extraordinary places, climb mountains and hike for hours in search for the ordinarily-beautiful. It excites me to be able to find that kind of beauty in a place as ordinary as a parking garage next to a metro station. It only makes sense, no?

As mentioned in my previous post, the parking garage in open 24/7. The schedule for the sunrise and sunset in the Netherlands is here. You can come to the spot to witness some natural beauty any day (given that it is not too cloudy). Be reminded, of course, to always have protection for your eyes and do not look into the sun otherwise. It can be dazzling and even dangerous

The sunrise and sunset are not the only moments worth seeing. The twilight just before the sunrise has a great vibe of anticipation and the charming sense of an in-between.

You may also direct your attention to the moon. I still have to figure out how to capture it on camera so it doesn't look like a blot of light, but here is a moment (around sunset) where the moon is directly above Capelle's Crystal Buildings.

Surely the magically adept can utilize this setting for some ritualistic visualisations? The movements of the sun and the moon can be, especially at seasonal markings like the equinox or the solstices, symbolically significant. Back in agricultural times, the seasons dictated everyone's agenda. The coming and going of sky entities was the coming and going of life. They were some of our oldest gods.

Have you read that recent news story on how the Chinese government had set up an artificial digital sunrise in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, because the pollution is so terrible that the people cannot see the real thing anymore? It has now been proven to be an imagined story, the product of poor journalistic research. Nevertheless, the story was only plausible because we have developed the means and contexts for this practice. Our technology cannot completely replicate the natural sunrise, but it is capable of creating some kind of representation that is probably good enough for aesthetic purposes. We may argue that the technique of representation itself, or language, is one of our most useful technologies. In representations it is possible to make anything.

The things we can make for real are also pretty impressive. The closest we ever got to REALLY making suns was probably by setting off nuclear bombs. They used to watch those in Las Vegas back in the 50s. The Nevada nuke testing schedules were made public at the time, and Vegas planned parties around the detonations. Typically, at the end of the party around 4am, a bomb would set off and people can witness its thrilling display while sipping on cocktails. You need something strong to chase down deathly sights like that. These were instruments of destruction on scales previously only depicted in myths. It's almost like the work of a new god, except it's just us. Extra scary!

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