An Immersive Journey through Imperial Lane
Sinister of Light is a narrative journey. Members of the public take on the identity of a protagonist in a film, immersing themselves in a world of light and darkness. Installed in Fort Lane, Sinister of Light enhances a person's sense of dread and anticipation through the use of lighting techniques derived from the film noir work Double Indemnity (1944). Textured imagery evokes fear, manifesting an atmosphere of uncertainty in Fort Lane. The installation would take place inside Imperial Lane, recalling the site of an early theatre, and provoking anxiety about calamities to come.
Fort Lane has seen its fair share of crime. It is in many aspects a typical alleyway consisting of loading docks, crumbling brick paving, and layers of story archived in its layers of graffiti and dirt. At night it is owned by a muted darkness. I imagined it as a place that anticipates unsettling events. At the same time, however, it is part of an every-changing urban environment and is known for its commercial establishments: restaurants, bars, and clubs. We are paradoxically drawn to fearful scenes, as horror films prove. I see Fort Lane as an opportunity to send chills down walker’s spines, enhancing and dramatizing the atmospheric experience of fear. The proposed experience adopts cinematic techniques from the film noir movie Double Indemnity (1944). In particular I worked with chiaroscuro and heavy shadow. I have used the controlled lighting environment of Imperial Lane (once a theatre until it was engulfed by fire).
I have proposed tungsten spotlights that produce strong beams and cast sharp shadows. These are supplemented by ‘gobo’ filters (short for go-between optics), stencilled discs that produce projected images or patterns. Zig-zagging walls feed the sense of anticipation by hiding things from view. In the entrance of the lane, a tensioned fabric can be pulled up like a theatre curtain during the day.
Sinister of Light is a public celebration of fear. The aim is not simply to scare, however. Rather it is to build curiosity and suspense, and gift people the sense of release that follows.