I-405 Closure Counter widget to transform into live stream of images of Carmageddon at midnight on Friday

When the I-405 Countdown to Closure clock rolls into zero at midnight on July 16, the by-now onerous warning will morph into high-definition images streamed live from metro.net for a world-wide view of the demolition work on the Mulholland Bridge during Carmageddon weekend.

The countdown clock, a web widget downloadable in various sizes from metro.net, went viral in June when anticipation for the world’s largest traffic jam jumped the shark. By July 1, web counters had clocked 1,173,792 views of the media assets page.  What’s more, the counters have been embedded in at least 100 local sites, not including this page (at right). All such widgets will morph into the live stream when their counters reach zero.

The time-lapse composition of the real-time demolition is the work of Douglas Goodwin, an artist, filmmaker and systems designer who happens to be the lead developer on the metro.net web team.

In the photo above, Goodwin is installing a digital still camera with a view of the Mulholland Bridge. The camera will feed high-definition images – one every 10 seconds – into a solar-powered laptop system. The images will emerge in real-time on a live stream webcast on metro.net.

“The images are different than a typical snapshot,” said Goodwin. In order to emphasize the demolition’s progress, six images will be averaged into one. The technique is similar, he said, to the one used by German photography artist Michael Wesley, who used long exposures to capture the construction of the Museum of Modern Art in New York during a 34-month period from 2001 to 2004.

The time-lapse live stream will end when the more familiar stream of cars returns to the frantic pace expected in the early morning hours of Carmageddon Monday.

The mesmerizing images, which by then will have unfolded into a permeable memory of the scarred canyon’s temporary respite, will be used to make time-lapse videos of the occasion.

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