Clean Room Light Trap

Please be aware that this artwork includes flashing lights.

In what might be called a documentary flicker film, Clean Room Light Trap revels in the transformative role of light, tracing its powers across the disciplines of film, astronomy and biology. We follow two individuals methodically 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 the University of Hawai’i, 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 conversely to emit light and capture insects. Eventually the insects arrive, forming strange constellations-in-negative against the glowing sky of their light trap. This is a special single-screen version of Clean Room Light Trap, originally designed as an installation projected into the dome of a planetarium.

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