Inhabiting darkness

Location: Sydney Harbour, Sydney, Australia
Year: 2007
Type: Research
Status: Completed
Materials: Acrylic, water, light

Pure light and pure darkness are two voids which are the same. Something can be distinguished [unterscheiden] only in determinate light or darkness (light is determined by darkness and so is darkened light, and darkness is determined by light, is illuminated darkness), and for this reason, that it is only darkened light [getrubtes Licht] and illuminated darkness which have within themselves the moment of difference and are, therefore, determinate being [Dasein]... “Last night i was in the kingdom of shadows......It is a world without sound, without colour. Everything there; the earth, the trees, the people, the water and the air is dipped in monotonous grey. Grey rays of the sun across the grey sky, grey eyes in grey faces, and the leaves of the trees are ashen grey. It is not life but its shadow, it is not motion but its soundless spectre.?-Maxim Gorky, commenting on early Lumiere Cinematograph in Nizhi-Novgorod, Russia.

The condition I chose to record is that of public street lights and domestic lighting. Domestic light provides a sense of presence, this presence of domesticity gives a sense of security that pure light from the street lights cannot. Domestic light is often also associated with sounds, smells and other clues of human habitation. domestic light is truly alive . Street lighting provides regular intense white light, the actual lux readings drop off fast as you walk away from the light source but the perception of lightness is adaptable so perceptual lightness remains strong until you are quite far from the light source. These excercises explore the properties of light. Results are mapped in an empirical fashion, so that they will inform the initial concepts of the design process. They are part of the investigation workshop that is designed to equip students with the neccessary mapping and graphic tools needed in graduation studio.