Presenting SUN LIGHTS, the 2017 Issue of Labocine
Just as the Earth revolves around the sun, nearly all life upon the Earth revolves around and is dependent upon it.
The sun feeds and powers us, its light guided the evolution of our eyes, and it illuminates our myths and metaphors. Even so, it projects damaging ultraviolet radiation, and one day it will expand into a red giant and consume us along with much of the solar system.
For the next five billion or so years however, the sun will continue to warm us, regulate our circadian rhythms, and encourage us to spend long summer days at the beach.
“SUN LIGHTS,” the July 2017 issue of Labocine looks at all the ways we relate to the sun, but also, for contrast, a few of those other lights that shine not from above but from beneath the ground — the geothermal activity of volcanos, and the luminous colors of crystal growth.
The 21 Films of SUN LIGHTS
ICARUS is an animated short documentary created using George Yoshitake’s voice. Yoshitake was the last survivor among the secret group of cameramen, who between 1945 and 1962, filmed the nuclear tests made by the US Army at the Nevada desert and the Pacific Ocean. The sound of his voice triggers the animation of the main element in the film.
A young man, accompanied by his mysterious mechanical bear, visits an abandoned observatory to confront memories of his past and follow his Father on a journey into the unknown. A magical journey about relationships and what it is to be human.
In a world increasingly concerned with questions of energy production and raw material shortages, this project explores the potential of desert manufacturing, where energy and material occur in abundance.
Solar-sintering aims to raise questions about the future of manufacturing and trigger dreams of the full utilisation of the production potential of the world’s most efficient energy resource — the sun. Whilst not providing definitive answers this experiment aims to provide a point of departure for fresh thinking.
Solar flares don’t just create beautiful polar lights, but can also damage satellites and disrupt power grids. Astrophysicist Sami Solanki attached a telescope to a giant helium balloon to research into the activity of the Sun.
Digitally and energetically, light and its origins drive our circadian rhythms, our internal clocks, and affect the retina. Notably, blue light, in the realm of 400 to 500 nanometers, has become increasingly pervasive, just as our light sources have homogenized. How might this unwind us?
Sleep. Do we get enough? The latest developments in circadian biology research are uncovering the detrimental effects that a lack of sleep can have to our well-being. Sleepless is the result of a two year conversation between artist Ellie Land and scientist Professor Peter Oliver about the links now being discovered between sleep and mental health. Its rhythm is inspired by the circadian cycle and displays visual icons rooted in the science of sleep, whilst featuring the voices of a group of mental health service users who share their experience of disrupted sleep/wake patterns.
Rusty machines living in their small houses imagine that the sun will come and take them to the sky someday. A small light keeps them alive and dreaming. But one of the machines wants to see the sun itself and has a plan.
Oft-reviled, pond scum is actually the vital foundation of a freshwater aquatic food web. Comprised of photosynthesizing algae and bacteria, pond scum can be surprisingly beautiful up close. This short film features various microorganisms feasting on a jewel-like underwater bounty. Ushering the sun’s energy into the larger food web, the single celled constituents of pond scum are the gatekeepers of life on Earth.
To watch this film, visit Sloan Science & Film.
Tree returns to her home town, a remote village in China where most young people have left for big opportunities in the city. She tries to solve the power shortage problem by installing a solar panel on the roof. Introducing new technology to her home town proves more difficult than imagined, she is faced with unresolved issues with her father.
We see an organism called a Heliozoan or “sun animal” sitting pretty as its busy neighbors go about their frenetic business. The heliozoan has a guest. Those green dots inside are green algal cells. They live protected inside the heliozoan (it is coated in scales and spikes), and in return, they pay rent in the form of energy they trap from sunlight. The heliozoan doesn’t need to find and eat food. Its neighbors must, and they are kept busy doing so. The tiniest moving dots are bacteria, the larger are ciliates.
Educational short film about the harvest of sun milk.
Narrated by anthropologist Nina Jablonski, this engaging animation shows how human skin cells produce the pigment melanin, which gives skin its color.
A poem searching for the everyday moments in the life of plants triggered by light. From dusk to dawn across a city, an allotment, a field, a plant laboratory, an LED farm exploring the boundaries between nature and industry and questioning our influence
Brilliant Noise takes us into the data vaults of solar astronomy. After sifting through hundreds of thousands of computer files, made accessible via open access archives, Semiconductor have brought together some of the sun’s finest unseen moments. These images have been kept in their most raw form, revealing the energetic particles and solar wind as a rain of white noise.
This grainy black and white quality is routinely cleaned up by NASA, hiding the processes and mechanics in action behind the capturing procedure. Most of the imagery has been collected as single snapshots containing additional information, by satellites orbiting the Earth. They are then reorganised into their spectral groups to create time-lapse sequences. The soundtrack highlights the hidden forces at play upon the solar surface, by directly translating areas of intensity within the image brightness into layers of audio manipulation and radio frequencies.
For thousands of years, humanity has watched the sun with a mixture of fear and awe, believing without knowing why, that our lives depend on its mysterious undulations. The sun has changed, our sense of wonder has not. Now more than ever, we must look at the sun.
Rooftop Films and Cinemad present a collaborative, featurelength omnibus movie Orbit(Film) about our solar system where every planet is represented by a short film. Each film is made by a different acclaimed filmmaker artist, who deals with the science of outer space through creative and emotional storytelling and visual poetry. Some or all of the original source material will come from NASA footage, reinterpreted by each filmmaker to make a portrait of the respective planet. Filmmakers include: Brent Hoff, Ben Coonley, Jessica Oreck, Mike Plante, Brian Cassidy & Melanie Shatzky, Mark Elijah Rosenberg, Kelly Sears, Bill Brown, Travis Wilkerson, Deborah Stratman and more.
In the Mojave Desert in California there are thousands of huge solar panels that follow the sun. They Shine registers their movement like a slow dance based on a sophisticated choreography, punctuated by the comments of local people about these strange devices. The desert is not only a place that is harnessed scientifically, it also evolves itself into a ‘second nature’.
Throughout their youth, sunflowers track the sun from east to west and turn back east overnight to await the sun. But what do they get out of it?
Learn more: http://scim.ag/2aY3RJL
Light patterns that show up around the Sun, technically called parhelia, are a natural phenomenon that has fascinated mankind for at least 2300 years, since Aristotle’s time. In cold regions, sunlight interacts with small ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere and, under certain conditions, gives rise to pairs of bright spots (also known as mock suns or sun dogs), a halo (parhelic circle) and straight lines (sun pillars) around the Sun. On even rarer occasions, these formations also occur around the moon.
A young Navajo girl must find a way to heat her home in order to save her asthma-stricken mother from a bitter winter storm. Filmed on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.
Space, forms, colours and sounds symbolise a recognisable world.
New beginnings put an end to familiar patterns. Do we shape as much as we are shaped?
The newest work to emerge from Harvard’s groundbreaking Sensory Ethnography Lab — the collective behind documentaries like Leviathan, Sweetgrass and Manakamana — Joana Pimenta’s mesmerizing short film is a ghost story about buried cities, lost civilizations and Western colonialism.
Observing a volcanic crater opens up a narrative filled with allusions and intimations that create an imaginary city along the lines of the metropolis of Brasilia inside the Cape Verdean volcano Pico de Fogo. A projection of an urban plan creates a world of possible stories, while shots of the urban model take us on a walk along the geometry of the city where even the cloud cover has been calculated.
Labocine is a new platform for extraordinary films from the science new wave. From lab footage to documentary to fiction, Labocine aspires to become one of the largest and most diverse platforms for science cinema worldwide.
On the first Tuesday of each month, Labocine releases a surgically curated issue of films connected by a theme. Issues are organized in an interactive network-viewing experience, branching out as interconnected nodes from the central theme — a phylogenetic tree of movies and ideas.
Part archive, part curated program, part experiment, Labocine challenges the way you understand, interpret, and appreciate scientific ideas.