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Nightvision

Adam Chodzko

UK, 1998
13 minutes, 20 seconds, Colour, Stereo
Original format: SD video
Available formats: DVD / Digibeta tape / SD Digital file

Nightvision shows two mutually dependent visions produced by a crew that Chodzko put together of lighting technicians (‘sparks’) who facilitate the lighting for clubs and concerts. Chodzko wanted to work with people who normally remain out of visibility, in the semi-darkness of ‘back stage’ space. He asked them to light a wood at night as though it was heaven. Their preparation for this illumination is undertaken in semi-darkness but made visible by the sickly false ‘light’ of an image-intensifier lens. Their individual visions of how ‘heaven’ should be lit manifests itself through voice-over. There is a huge disparity between the contradictory, idealising nature of their verbal recommendations (some very technical, some more poetic) and the actual visual reality of the illumination that results. They are ‘experts’ used to creating fictions so are totally unfazed by the quasi-metaphysical nature of the question ‘how should heaven be lit?’

The illumination itself is an accumulation of the desired lighting effects, attempting to accommodate all their separate descriptions into one environment. As a result it becomes a very peculiar space; an assembly of different visions; golden, bloody, icey blue and bounded by darkness. Its manifestation cuts out the image-intensifier camera filming the crew and its termination, through switching off the lights, returns us to the original sequence of the crew waiting to prepare the illumination. The disappearance of one space allows the visibility of another. Darkness appears to be a permanent (and ‘natural’?) state which is alleviated only temporarily by imagination’s multiplicity.