Hours of Glass
Michiel van Bakel, 2018, 7'17''

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Time-traveling through a sequence of time-lapses. From a dark sky park near Uraniborg to a vanished observatory in Istanbul (Taqi ad-Din). Via the idiosyncratic Einsteinturm close to Berlin, ultimately reaching a secret service post used for intercepting vast amounts of tele-communications (Joint Sigint Cyber Unit).

This short photographic investigation follows an associative path along places that helped shape the observation, or should we say, the surveillance of the heavens. An extraterrestrial gaze is turned towards earth in the form of a full spectrum camera, with its eerie colour schemes. Likewise, some of the deep-gazing techniques are directed towards people sharing thoughts over the ether.

In order of appearance:
Møn Dark Sky Park, Istanbul Mu
eum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam, Leiden Observatory, Einsteinturm Potsdam, Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope, Troposcatter Hoek van Holland, Joint Signals Intelligence Cyber Unit Burum.

Some parts of the soundtrack are created with sonification software. This computer program can translate different possible models of the young universe into the audible region. The Cosmic Background Radiation (oldest observable light of the universe) is made accessible to the human ear. Van Bakel chose to use sonification as a synthesizer of sounds to create moods, instead of performing a one-on-one translation with it. Next to the electronic sounds there are actual sounds from the locations. Furthermore, in the last shot we can hear some samples from Francis Ford Coppola’s classic paranoid surveillance film The conversation.

Made possible with the support of the Mondriaan Fund.
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  • Date: 2018
  • Length: 7'17''
  • Type: Video
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA
  • Keywords: installation - single-channel video installation