Michael John Whelan
Exhibition Views
Darkness had no need
In the black dark for good
That we were to wait
Like force and matter
Only in
20 Vertices, 30 Edges
and 160 Diagonals

In Embers (Dodecahedron)
Transit of Venus
Over the echoing gateway
Stars & Star
Archway (diptych)
Darkness had no need
framed chromogenic prints, 120 x 150cm
/ single channel sound, digital audio player, amplifier, stereo speakers
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This ongoing project explores the darkest locations in the world through sound and large format photography. Certified by different organisations, these sites are selected to provide the best conditions for viewing the night sky, away from the effects of light pollution. As an alternative to stellar observations, the focus is on the sites themselves, exploring ideas of ecological awareness, industrialisation and the mutability of human consumption. By incorporating geographically diverse locations, these issues are brought to a global discussion, depicting the fact that different countries and cultures share similar industrial effects on their immediate landscape through artificial lighting an its effects. The sound recordings form a database of field recordings presenting 'night' as experienced from another sense, aside from the visual. Each of the sound recordings corresponds to the length of time that the shutter is open for each of the analog exposures. They are installed in a separate space to the photographs. Directly connected with overpopulation, errant light pollution mortally affects migrating birds, Atlantic salmon and sea turtles. Within the area of Scotobiology it has been proven to disrupts the human cicada rhythm, leading to significant health problems. The title is taken from Lord Byron's 1816 poem 'Darkness', which was inspired by the 'year without summer', when a pall of darkness from sulphur clouds covered the earth after the eruption of Mount Tambora.