Clean Room
Light Trap

DCP video, 15 min.

Preview the Film

"Clean Room Light Trap" follows two figures going about two different processes of technical construction: a figure on the left of screen builds telescope parts in the “clean room” at the headquarters of the Institute for Astronomy at UH Manoa. On the right of screen an entomologist constructs a “light trap” that attracts nocturnal insects for observation and study. The video contrasts these two construction efforts, both of which are focused on building tools to either capture light and repel particles (the telescope) or emit light and capture insects.

The theme of light and construction is made literal with the intensive strobing alternation of the shots, which flicker at different rates to create shifting patterns of interaction and interference. In time the two images form a single dynamic space that exists in neither of the images alone; both sides actively construct a third image, a third space-in-the-making that hovers in the intervals of the flicker.

The soundtrack consists of a datatization of the natural sounds of both environments, creating an alien soundscape that might be the stream of clicks that come from radio telescopes during solar activity, or might be the scratching of insects crawling over the microphone.
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