The Horizon Behind Us

2020, video Full HD,
16’40’’, 16:9, stereo, loop

Shot in 2018 at an undisclosed scientific facility, the short film is structured as a fictional meditation on a possible future when artificial intelligence softwares will have full control of sky observation, data collection and analysis. As a consequence, man-led laboratories will be abandoned. Questioning the possible future development of space exploration, the film analyses they ultimate philosophical and ethical implications of human exploration of the cosmos.

While the slow-panning camera wanders around silent rooms hosting telescopes, mechanical tools and optical instruments, an anonymous voice describes how the millennial tradition of sky observation has evolved through the centuries and why it was always important for mankind to wonder about the mysteries of the universe.

The visual focus on observational tools and mechanical instruments suggests how contemporary astrophysicists act as ancient alchemists, capturing the light coming from distant stars and transforming it into a different matter, in order to give it new form and meaning. The camera movements are extremely slow, evoking the long, durational processes involved in sky observation and the huge temporal scales at which universal phenomena unfold.

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