Cirkut takes the artist’s documentation of the sun to ambitious new lengths. Here, the sun rises and falls behind faraway peaks in a graceful, rhythmic sine wave that stands apart from the angular scorches it creates in McCaw’s iconic Sunburned pieces. Working with a modifed 1913 Cirkut camera—a rotating camera that, mounted on a tripod, captured the earliest panoramic images—and a 10- foot long scroll of vintage silver-based paper, these new works track the sun’s movement in the Arctic Circle, capturing multiple sunsets and sunrises in a single, continuous exposure lasting up to 80 hours. The making of these photographs involved a constant dialogue between careful planning, calibration, and an element of chance. The irregularity of earth’s orbit around the sun required McCaw to manually adjust the speed of his camera’s rotation every 15 minutes, an exercise in physical and mental endurance. Weather, a constant if unseen force in McCaw’s work, becomes all the more tangible in this series. The frequent interruptions of Arctic winds and storms, often in the evenings, appear as ashes of white against an otherwise calm, grey horizon. The works in Cirkut embody both the immediacy (and dramatic unpredictability) of nature, and the languid passing of time.
Detail views of Cirkut works. To view entire piece, click on image