While recently visiting a graveyard I noticed that many of the graves, especially those in the children's section, had solar powered night lights. This made me speculate about who these lights might be for.
‘Night Light’ is a digital representation of a child’s grave at night time ( a night light is placed for comfort in dark areas to provide a sense of security – often in a child’s bedroom or sometimes beside a grave). Video games and blockbuster movies, constantly use computer animation to depict death, usually through some spectacular demise. I was interested in using the same technology to explore death from a different perspective. Although this is a virtual representation of death, where everything is rendered from scratch, the work is intended to generate affect and solicit emotions in the viewer. As such, it could be seen as mediation on the personal nature of grief and memory, the ontology of objects and anthropomorphism.
It’s the very personal nature of grief. We can empathise with people that we know or meet who have suffered a loss, but ultimately it’s impossible to fully participate emotionally in grieving without having known the deceased. In that sense, this simulated grave is set up for failure as it can never replicate the personal nature of the situation that it is trying to represent. No matter how significant the loss might be personally, the world continues and is, on the whole, utterly unaware and unconcerned with our specific situation. Each night the light will turn itself on without human intervention and shine away without an audience. The objects continue to exist when we are not there, they have their own ontology.
This is the credited and titled film version. A continuous loop version for use in dedicated installations is available here: vimeo.com/146658416
3D modelling and rendering in Blender, animation and editing in Premiere. Original Format: 1920x1080, 16:9, 25fps, 2 channel sound.
Production Date 2016