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Crowdsourced Photo Project Compiles Global View Of The World Cup Final

"Time Of The Game" is a synchronized, global visualization of the game from the fans' perspective.

Though the World Cup is finally (and sadly) over, the public's interest hasn't fully waned. GIF recaps, memes, and excess footage of Goetze's winning goal are still making the rounds, but one fan project stands out in particular. Whereas many have focused on the action of the game itself, Time Of The Game by writer Teju Cole, data artist Jer Thorp, and artist/coder Mario Klingemann zones in on the perspective of the people who watched it.


The artists' collaboration is a "synchronized, global view of the World Cup," comprised of crowdsourced photographs of TVs displaying the game. It started with Cole tweeting to his 160k followers to send him photos of the game and write where they were watching it from, and what minute they took the photo during the match. The public replied, and sent him thousands of images from countries across the globe, using the hashtag #timeofthegame.

Together, these images were compiled into a video collage, detailing each moment that ultimately led to Germany's win. The project's website allows visitors to fast forward to any specific minute in the game, and every photo submitted during that timestamp will appear in succession. Also, you can click on any city where fans submitted pictures, and can witness a chronical timelapse of every photo submitted from specific locations.

With Time Of The Game, you get to watch one of the most important cultural events of the year, but through the eyes (or, well, cameras) of fans from Paris, Mexico, New York and so on.

Simultaneous spectatorship has been possible for decades, but global social networks have now made it highly visible. #thetimeofthegame

— Teju Cole (@tejucole) July 8, 2014

We live in different time zones, out of sync but aware of each other. Then the game begins and we enter the same time: the time of the game.

— Teju Cole (@tejucole) July 8, 2014


“It becomes an insight into other people’s lives in a weird sort of way," Cole told Robinson Meyer at The Atlantic. "I liked all the photos, even the bad ones. There were a lot of photos with people’s feet in them. So many of them were completely unguarded insights into the lives of others, and all these strange formal elements started to coalesce around the images.”

Cole also described the results as a chance to witness "public time," a self-created term he spit balled which is the "chronological equivalent of public space." Though we can't see the fans' faces during the 113 minute mark when Goetze scored, we can see their home environments and private spaces that are each unique, but are all tethered together through one focal point. Thorp was even able to suggest some cultural idiosyncrasies with Time Of The Game, noting that photos from Brooklyn watchers fit a certain stereotype by sporting fixed-gear bikes and craft beers in their pics.

"It's basically about finding ways to make the public space intimate," he told Meyer. "Under the guise of football, we can actually testify to each other's existence."

A collaged image right after Goetze's winning goal.

For more on Time Of The Game, visit the project site here.

Jer Thorp's website.

Teju Cole's website.

Mario Klingemann's Tumblr.


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