24h Sunrise/Sunset is a digital art installation that displays a live sunset and sunrise happening somewhere in the world with the use of CCTV.
Artist Dries Depoorter wanted to prove that “CCTV cameras can show something beautiful”, and turned to Raspberry Pi to power this global project.
The arresting visuals are beamed to viewers using two Raspberry Pi 3B+ computers and an Arduino Nano Every that stream internet protocol (IP) cameras with the use of command line media player OMXPlayer.
Dual Raspberry Pi power
The two Raspberry Pis communicate with each other using the MQTT protocol — a standard messaging protocol for the Internet of Things (IoT) that’s ideal for connecting remote devices with a small code footprint and minimal network bandwidth.
One of the Raspberry Pis checks at which location in the world a sunrise or sunset is happening and streams the closest CCTV camera.
Beam me out, Scotty
The big screens are connected with the I2C protocol to the Arduino, and the Arduino is connected serial with the second Raspberry Pi. Dries also made a custom printed circuit board (PCB) so the build looks cleaner.
All that hardware is powered by an industrial power supply, just because Dries liked the style of it.
Everything is written in Python 3, and Dries harnessed the Python 3 libraries
Pytz to calculate sunrise and sunset times at specific locations. Google Firebase databases in the cloud help with admin by way of saving timestamps and the IP addresses of the cameras.
And, lastly, Dries requested a shoutout for his favourite local Raspberry Pi shop Gotron in Ghent.
If you’d like to check out more of Dries’ work, you can find him online here or on Instagram.