When the dreamers and prognosticators and inventors of old tried to imagine what, in the future, a portal to other places might look like, they likely never quite envisioned the live cam.
Or if they did it probably looked much like the ol' string between two cans. The live cam is not, let us be clear, a lengthy brass tube that runs from place to place, allowing a viewer to peek inside at one end and see what is happening at the other. The tech is rather more advanced, but so are the ways to experience a live cam.
Ways that go beyond our computer screen. Look to The Annenberg Space for Photography, which has invited Explore.org to create an immersive Pearls of the Planet happening at the Century City center's Skylight Studios.
The theme of the latest Pearls of the Planet, which transports viewers to the far reaches of the natural world, is the Pacific Ocean.
True, the Pacific isn't all that far from Century City -- one suspects a lengthy brass tube could reach from Skylight Studios to the beach -- but the live cam experience goes further into the depths. Visitors will call upon the "colorful kelp beds of the Channel Island of Anacapa" as well as the waves of Hawaii and Alaska.
Will orcas and walruses and jellies make cameos? This is a live cam, so, like life, anything could happen.
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And it all happens within the aqua-awesome design of the room, a darkened space that includes a photo booth, giant sea floor imagery, and tucked-away spots in which to commune with whatever is going on in the depths of the Pacific, right then, simultaneously.
Surf cinematographer Mike Prickett is the honoree, by the by, of this Pearls of the Planet go-around. Did you visit the last one that alighted in at Skylight Studios? That ventured into the Arctic?
That's part of Explore.org's mission: To pair people with nature through the modern portal of the live cam. Pair it with a beautiful thematic setting, and you're going beyond dipping a toe in the water, as far as watching a live cam.
Pearls of the Planet is in Century City through March 20, 2016.