You might remember Teju Cole's name from his Twitter-based dictionary last year of received ideas and clichés. During this year's World Cup, the Nigerian-American novelist also emerged as one of the most perceptive Twitter commentators on the meaning of the game (the Guardian declared he was "winning [the] literary World Cup with tweets").
His most interesting contribution, however, had less to do with his own insights and more to do with the way everyone around the world watched the game together. On July 8, in advance of Brazil's crushing defeat by Germany, Cole asked his followers to tweet out a photo of where they were watching the match, along with their location, the time on the game clock and the hashtag #thetimeofthegame.
The first thing Cole did with all these tweets was to collect them in this Twitter timeline. But for the final match between Germany and Argentina, he took things one step further: he teamed up with a pair of digital artists, Jer Thorp and Mario Klingemann, to create a website called Time of the Game, which produced the mesmerizing photo you see above. The website allows you specify a start and an end time in the game, and then overlays 100 images of people watching it, all centred on their TV set (or computer screen).
For the next phase, the site will also allow you to select images by time and place. Here's Cole's explanation of the thinking behind the project:
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
Simultaneous spectatorship has been possible for decades, but global social networks have now made it highly visible. #thetimeofthegame— Teju Cole (@tejucole) July 8, 2014