In the Year of Quiet Sun

2013, 33 mins, video, color

by The Otolith Group
Editor, Co-Sound Designer: R Yun Keagy

Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen Norway
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, "After Year Zero: Geographies of Collaboration since 1945," Berlin Germany
Casco Projects, Utrecht Netherlands
Lux, London UK

The essay film In the Year of the Quiet Sun (2013) takes its name from the decrease in solar surface temperature that occurs every eleven years. From November 1964 to November 1965, the nation states of the world issued postage stamps to commemorate the first scientific expedition to study the sun. As the stamps turned their face towards the sky, they overlooked the unstable land of Africa’s newly independent states. If the founding of the Universal Postal Union in Bern in 1874 can be understood as the instituting of imperial infrastructure then Rene de Saint-Marceaux’s 1907 monument to the UPU stands as the first attempt to visualise global communication. Conceived by The Otolith Group and animated by ScanLab, Sovereign Sisters (2014) mobilises Saint Marceaux’s monument into a digital hymn to the automatism of planetary infrastructure.