Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Rotterdam Coollection 003: Time-lapse Edition

Coollection, a portmanteau, is the collection of cool things. I have coined the term earlier this year and it had a geeky sound to it that I am quite fond of. These are blogposts where I share a collection of extraordinary online items related to Rotterdam. In this specific post we explore my new-found love for the unique aesthetics of time-lapse videos.

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I found this beautiful time-lapse video by Rik van Aken. The passing of time is an ongoing phenomenon that we usually take for granted, but the technique of time-lapse brings time to the front stage in a powerful visual presentation. In doing so, it also direct your attention to the contrast between the fast-moving, the slow-moving and the non-moving. In these (mostly) night-time shots of traffic in and around Rotterdam's city centre, the iconic city-scape serves as an eternal and stationary context against which every other small trivial being moves about. You can do whatever you like with your life, and the city will serve as an independent variable for the duration of your nightly activities night after night after night.


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This is a time lapse-video of the ship MS Renata transporting cargo containers out in the Port of Rotterdam. It records the ship's work from sunrise to sunset. I don't have too much to say about this, it just looks cool, man. 


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This is a recording of OMA's De Rotterdam being built, 4 years of construction condensed into 2 minutes of time-lapse video. From all the videos collected in this post, this is the one that took the longest to capture in real time. It's always cool to watch something huge and magnificent getting built, it's a feat of engineering and architecture, and a demonstration of the kind of tangible and relevant effort that Rotterdamers are typically recognised by. The time-lapse is a cool overview, but if you REALLY want to see this thing being constructed, photographer Rudd Sies did some wonderful photo-documentary during the 4-year building time, providing a more intimate and human look into the construction process. These are published into a book and everyone should check it out.

Anyways I also shared this video because it provides a contrasting perspective to the first video I shared on top. In here we see the city-scape receiving a man-made addition, the city becoming a independent variable susceptible to change. Some of us are architects and builders, and some of us influence the city in other ways, but I believe everyone who is here brings a little something to the city everyday. Eventually it'll be noticeable (especially on a time-lapse) how our personal contributions make Rotterdam into a different place from before we were here. Maybe the city scape is only majestic and eternal because Rotterdamers had made them so. Now that's a wonderful thought :D

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This one is different. It's a time-lapse recording of photo-artist Roy Korpel using photoshop to creat an imaginary vision of a Rotterdam in ruins. I'm not theoretically armed to discuss the quantum-physics of imagining the passing of time that leads to a possible future. But on a poetic level I can say that watching this video is like watching Rotterdam go through a hundred years inside Roy's head. There's something cool in that. I'm also a big geek and a sucker for post-apocalyptic scenarios where cities get completely emptied out of people as result of a zombie outbreak or something. It's cool to see someone getting those imaginations visualised for Rotterdam. For a final quandary carried on from our earlier discussions: if a city looks stunning but there is no one to see it, is it still stunning?

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