Light Adjustments (Centre of the Universe) is a durational landscape film captured over the span of 24 hours and shot on location at the “Centre of the Universe” in the Deadman River Valley, British Columbia, on the unceded territory of the Secwépemc peoples.
Opening with an extreme close-up view of the sun rising over a distant wooded hill through a solar viewing filter, the perspective slowly and continuously widens throughout the film, which ends on a wide-angle view of the surrounding landscape at dawn the following day. Although the perspective shifts as the lens slowly zooms out in the film, the camera position does not change, so the two sunrises occur at exactly the same spot within the frame.
Between these two sunrise events various filters, lenses, apparatus and imaging interventions are employed to manipulate the light entering the camera and expand the visible spectrum. Some interventions are obvious, others less so. Some contain evidence of the artist's hand or involve analogue photographic materials; some subtly refer to other artists by virtue of the various apparatus employed. In reference to the invisible forces believed to exist at this remarkable location, these camera interventions attempt to achieve a deeper understanding of the area and its many mysteries, opening up the question of how we interpret our surroundings through sensory inputs.
Although this location was chosen specifically because of the designation as the “Centre of the Universe” bestowed by visiting Tibetan Monks in the 1980’s, the area has been very significant to indigenous peoples for millennia. The entire Deadman River Valley is also incredibly unique geologically, being the meeting point of the Bonaparte Plateau (North American Plate) and the Pacific Plate, which have been slowly, and at times violently, colliding for hundreds of millions of years.
Light Adjustments was produced during a collaborative production-dissemination residency with PRIM/Dazibao (Montreal, QC) and follows on the photographic works Spectrum Studies made in preparation for the project.
The artist would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their support in realizing this project: BC Arts Council, France Choinière and the team at Dazibao, PRIM Centre d’artistes, Sylvain Cossette for such patient editing, and special thanks to Ray at the Vidette Lake Retreat Centre.