Kate McCabe

My recent film practice has revolved around shooting 16mm time-lapse of California wilderness landscapes to reflect upon the Anthropocene. At Lichtenberg Studios my challenge was to take this cinematography animation technique into an urban space and contextualize it as a portrait of East Berlin. Researching the Stasi and its cultural impact caused me to meditate on the ideas of a shadowy past and ‘shadowing’ as a form of surveillance. I set out to make a time-lapse film of the shadows of East Berlin.  The dichotomy of the task was clear- to have a shadow; a photographer must also have light, so the film I make will be both a thoughtful study of our relationship to shadows and a celebration of the urban light’s presence as it dramatically traverses the city. I was able to roam both on foot and by bike and note the times of day in certain locations to catch the best light. I shot with 2 DSLR camera rigs with intervalometers at each location, every sequence taking a minimum of 3 hours to achieve, generating over 33,000 images, comprising 10-25 second long animated shots, and resulting when finished with sound design, a 20 minute film. Being in public spaces to shoot for extended periods gave me the opportunity to observe Lichtenberg and interact with people on the street who were curious why I’d be in one space for so long with cameras. To communicate I learned the word “Zeitraffer” and “Schatten” to explain my art process and assuage any fears they had that I was doing surveillance. The greatest reward was befriending local Lichtenberg residents who sometimes accompanied me while I shot and shared their stories of life in the East.
“Wo viel Licht ist, ist starker Schatten.”- Goethe

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Januar, 2017

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