Nature’s Dazzle 

︎Product Design, Video Editing, Photography, Public Engagement, Cyanotype

59.2” x 59.2” x 71.5” 
May 2023

I have a habit, or more like a liking, of looking up at the sky. Either soaking up the sunlight that wraps me in comfort or tracing the lines between the sparkling stars at night. But there is another thing I notice in Boston on my midnight walks back to my dorm–the artificial lights that remain on and cloud the beautiful night sky. When I was back in New Zealand, I worked at a camp in the middle of nowhere near a regional park. Even without looking closely, the sky was dazzled with millions of stars, shooting stars here and there. Or that moment when I put my back against the ground in Greece to just be immersed in endless shimmers. Those beautiful moments cannot exist without the complete darkness, just as how camera obscura would not work without the absolute darkness. From a tiny hole, like a star in a night sky, the natural light is able to project wonders. I want more people to turn off the artificial lights–appreciate those nuanced moments while saving the energy. Instead of these moments of artificial lights that seem to stay on all year, why don’t we find wonders in nature?

The cyanotype on this man-sized camera obscura features the night sky that you can see on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston from West to East and on the other side of the globe (as of May 2023). These are just a small number of countless stars and constellations that they form, and there are numerous more in the galaxy that we cannot see. But by turning off the lights at night, you reach closer to those unknowns than ever before. Cyanotypes show the beauty of natural light, as the UV light allows such magnificent coloration to appear.

Video documentation of the process:

Photos that I took with the camera obscura (inverted negatives triptychs of 8.5” x 11”):