Towards Civil Dusk

A man walks to a shed on a summer evening. It’s a grey night. A geometrical patch of artichoke green moves between the hedges and trees. Someone once told you it rains diamonds on Neptune.

Towards Civil Dusk is a documentary film on the topic of amateur astronomical observations. Amateur astronomy is a world of stark contradictions. It’s both highly technological and very DIY. It combines advanced scientific knowledge with a direct, romantic appreciation of celestial bodies. It’s a solitary endeavor that nevertheless gives rise to large communities of like-minded souls.

Short filmic observations of public observatories are combined with a soundtrack, a voice, and telescope footage, shot in circumstances not ideal for viewing celestial objects.  A story unfolds.

Towards Civil Dusk was first aired on 27 June 2020, live from the roof of Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen. The roof became a public observatory for one evening. On the exhibition space’s roof amateur-astronomers set up a telescope. The instrument came equipped with a camera and streamed its footage in real-time.

Voice: Emi Kodama

Towards Civil Dusk is part of Documenting Objects, a research project at KASK & CONSERVATORIUM School of Arts Gent.