accretion is a live phototropic film by Phil Coy shot one frame a day at dawn.
Since spring equinox 23.03.2022 a single photograph has been chosen from a dawn shoot and uploaded to become the next frame in this slowly accruing film. The time of sun rise and position of the artist dictate when and where the frame is taken. The majority of shots are taken in Ramsgate, situated on the easterly coast of England, where in the summer months Coy is amongst the first people to witness the sun rise in the UK.
accretion.info allows frames to be viewed individually, in sequence, as a film or as ALT TEXT [free verse closed captions composed at the point of upload].
SPEED >> film playback speed [24 FPS or 5 SPF]
ALT TEXT >> view film as ALT TEXT 1
DATA >> dataset attached to each frame 2
1. Words composed as free-verse on day image was taken are inserted in place of the normally anodyne image descriptions that comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
2. Image data is normally hidden and used by search engine algorithms to dictate how images are received online
About the Edition
Single frames from ACCRETION are available as 1 of 1 prints making them unique to the day they were taken. Each print is mounted on aluminum and hand stamped by the artist with: FRAME | DATE | TIME of SUNRISE. Sales of this unique edition will keep the film rolling and provide funds for a new book of all frames from the first solar year of ACCRETION 2022 – 2023.
accretion [1 of 1] borrows from NFTs (non-fungible tokens) notion of a single original copy artwork, but counters its dubious climate and legal credentials by returning it to a collectors print edition. All prints are 10″ x 18″ (254mm x 462mm) glycee prints on archival paper with pigment inks and dry mounted on aluminum. An additional artists frame is available at point of purchase.
Explore the edition here (updates daily)
Pre-order available for dates until 22/03/2023 >> email email@example.com specifying any date/s you wish to reserve or check availability.
The edition develops a recurring feature in his work; that of making an equivalence between physical and digital sites, seen most recently in his project Swete Brethe (2021) installed next to American Embassy and in his landscape photographic series a walk in in the park (2000) and Provincial landscape (2007) – works that deliberately swam against the tide of digitisation by translating digital satellite images into 1:1 scale analogue land based installations.
All prints ship mounted on 2mm aluminium hand stamped with a unique Frame number together with the Date and time of Sunrise. Each mounted print has hanging rails (if ordered without a frame) together with a signed certificate of authenticity and thermal printed copy of the frames associated ALT TEXT.
Artists specified black wooden tray frame is available at point of order.
COMMENTARY – Kyran Joughin
One day, later than first light and in a cafe somewhere in London, I touched a circle among the row at the top of an Instagram feed, and saw how that day had broken somewhere else. The next day, I did the same. And the next. And the next day. And the next. By the sixth day I had fallen into a rhythm. Some point in the late morning, or late evening of my daylight, I would look for the dawn circle. I woke often in those days around 5am, not to be awake or up, but from habit. I would look out of my kitchen window and onto the office building behind, waiting for a sign that dawn was here, or approaching, or any sort of light that looked like the light in Phil Coy’s dawns. I sent him a message. “You need a horizon”, he wrote back. “it helps.”
The sun rises. The sun sets, the sun does not fall. The sun doesn’t go anywhere.
Pauline Boss, writing for The Lancet deep in Winter 2002, used the term ‘Ambiguous Loss’ to talk about a kind of mourning that happens when death happens without a body. It means, she says, holding two different ideas at the same time.
The sun rises. The sun stays still. Each day is a new offer and another return.
Each day, no matter when, that small instagram circle opens to the touch, and offers up an image that’s both beginning and continuation. The offer it makes is both a surprise and a gift. The sun sinks in social time. Sunsets are shared, and shared as images relentlessly. Days begin in private time. To wake ahead of the day and to set up a camera before dawn is an undertaking. There are times in the changing seasons where the task becomes a pact, an act of stealth. 4.38am. 5.10am. And there are times, around the winter solstice, when dawn is an afterthought in the day’s business. 7.32am.
By the second week, the act of recording and sharing dawn felt so generous it needed a response. And so I became a witness to the act of witness in each day’s photograph. Sometimes there’s a drama. Sometimes the sea folds like a quilt, or shines with menace. Other days begin so quietly they parody themselves. Serene sky with seagull. Dawn View. Sometimes there’s an animal, in a time that doesn’t keep human hours. There are days where the sun makes no appearance, and days when it sits plump on the horizon like a honeyed yolk.
Now I’m writing this in California, where the days are blue at both ends. Where my night meets England’s daybreak. Two opposing ideas held simultaneously. And the accretion of days has grown into a body of work.
The whole sky is yours [Rita Dove, Dawn Revisited, 1999]/to write on’. ‘Like something almost being said’, Philip Larkin wrote of trees re-leafing [The Trees, 1974] and his poem ends with that grief/renewal call of nature: ‘Begin afresh, afresh, afresh’. Here, every day.
Los Angeles, November 2022
Kyran Joughin is a Writer, Translator and Union Organiser
All images © Phil Coy 2023
All ALT TEXT © Phil Coy, with the exception of frames:
00:01:22 – Verse from Authur Rimbaud’s poem Drunken Boat translated by Samuel Beckett, Collected Poems, John Calder, 1930-1989
00:04.07 – lyrics from the track All Night by Low, 2021
00:09:01 – stanza from the Pasolini’s poem La Rabbia (Rage), City Lights, 1986
Typeset in Neue Haas Grotesk Agate by Christian Schwartz
Website design & development:
An Endless Supply
a narrow cast of related works by Phil Coy