The Hour Blew

The digital form still feels new to me, and slightly intangible when I use it. Nevertheless, I use it constantly—though its workings remain unclear. That confusion can be liberating. It creates layers and dimensions I don’t understand and cannot visualize. If I try, I see free-floating motion with no hard edges. A place of slipping and swooshing. Or maybe it’s more like tumbleweed blowing in the wind? I don’t know. But repeatedly I transform this vapor into action . . . and it affects almost every aspect of my life.

With the internet, I exist in several places at once, at my desk, in my chair moving my fingers, and in my head coasting through a vast open place with no physicality or time.

For my first online, web-only project, I created The Hour Blew. It was late August 2011, and as I was driving west on Highway 40 in Saint Louis, Missouri, my hometown, I noticed that while watching the sunset, I experienced a similar quality on no-time . . . Even though I had moved away so many years ago, the way the sky looks when the sun sets as I’m driving west on 40—always looks the same. The French call this time of day l’heure bleue. The Hour Blew is a group of photographs I took with an iPhone and later programmed into a dissolving, online motion picture. Text excerpts from Madame Bovary fly through the sky.

A special thanks to David J. Merritt for his technical support.

—Amy Granat, 2012