unknown, photograph of man attempting to pinch sunset, with over 60,000 notes on Tumblr
The artist Giovanni Anselmo has a piece called “Documentazione di interferenza umana nella gravitazione universale” - which was a series of 20 photographs at intervals of 20 paces as he walked towards the sunset. It’s a conceptual piece, with the question/joke/idea being: does the sun look any larger as you walk towards it?
Giovanni Anselmo, Documentazione di interferenza umana nella gravitazione universale - 1969-71
I’m not suggesting that this photographer, or the thousands of people that reblogged the photo, had the same motivation as Anselmo, but somehow it captures a similar idea in a single photograph, rather than twenty.
If you are curious about conceptual art and photography, I highly recommend the book for the exhibit “Light Years: Conceptual Art and the Photograph, 1964-1977”; the book places the Anselmo piece in context. If the period of conceptual art is under-appreciated by the art audience, a good portion of the photography audience remains deeply suspicious of art that uses photographs to document ideas. If you read the book, you’ll notice that many conceptual pieces from 40 years ago predicted and explored internet culture, ranging from the practical (Google Street View, Twitter, reproduction of famous works of art) to the endless jokes and memes that we experience every day.