If a city-dweller were to find a heedful vantage point from which to view the metropolis, he would observe a rhythm to everyday life.
There is an orchestral order to the seemingly random movement of the city, expertly conducted by the schedule of the daily commute.
Dawn breaks with a light percussion of traffic, a gentle sparse beating of early commuters and bleary eyed pedestrians in the streets.
Steadily, it builds into a low hum, growing louder and louder as the sun rises in the sky and work-bound people and cars multiply on the transport routes.
Until, finally, around mid-morning, it reaches a grand, roaring crescendo: people blurring into crowds, car after car, bus after bus. Green. Red. Mind the gap. Train departing.
Slowly, the tumult dissipates as the work day begins; once more, gentle chimes of cars and people, the city settles into a steady, calm melody.
Then early evening arrives, carrying an air of expectation about it. The rapid tempo of the morning repeats in reverse motion.
These urban patterns are portrayed beautifully in the one minute micro-film, Points in Space (2011), directed by Australian artist Benjamin Ducroz. The film uses time-lapse and animation to visually represent the ebb and flow of movement in Melbourne’s CBD:
“using 1050 individual a0 sized frames with long exposure photography, points in space presents melbournes cbd’s cycles of repetition by responding to the flow of traffic at key intersections. bodies join, weld and converge into swarming masses of movement. this movement is present in each city around the world. the work presents how a city environment is controlled through organised systems. scenarios which may look like elements in chaos, work in harmony. ” (ducroz.com)
Featured Image Credit: Pulses (2014) by Candice Holdsworth