* ongoing project, s8mm colour negative Kodak vision 350D film and b&w Kodak Tri-X film, silent, approximately 10min., 2020 *
“Initially one sees only black and grey. Then the brightest colours, red and green, appear darkest. Yellow cannot be distinguished from a rosy red. Blue looks to me the most noticeable. Nuances of red, which otherwise burn brightest in daylight, namely carmine, cinnabar and orange show themselves as darkest, in contrast to their average brightness. Green appears more bluish, and its yellow tint develops with the increasing daylight” (New Contributions, Jan Evangelista Purkyně, 1825, pp. 109–110)
Purkyně’s Dusk is an experimental short film based on the visual effect of decreasing colour perception on low light conditions discovered by the Czech physiologist Jan Evangelista Purkyně.
Purkyně’s Dusk is an experimental short film based on the studies of light and colour carried out by the Czech physiologist Jan Evangelista Purkyně. The visual effect he described in 1825 determines that our perception of colour is dependant on the degree of illumination. Both the identifiable tints and the contrast between colours are perceived differently in bright or low light conditions.
The images for this film piece were captured in super8 colour and black and white film, in a garden setting on a late summer afternoon edging towards dusk. Two static figures appear in the artificial nature of a garden decor, filmed evenly as living models alongside flowers and plants.
In the editing process, digital effects of de-saturation and contrast variation were used to alter the digitally transferred images, in combination with photo-chemical manipulations such as toning, dying, and colorisation applied onto the black and white original footage.
As a visual experience that “plays on our eyes and disrupts all our senses”, this film aims to defy our perception of colour representation and shed new light on the artistic and conceptual relations between analogue and digital techniques.
Currently in production with LIGHTCONE Atelier 105 Residency in Paris