A Month Of Nights, Derby, 2011 (text)

This project attempted to trace the nightly activity of Derby’s inhabitants during one winter month when the nights are longest. Twenty-four Mark III Time-Lapse Pinhole Cameras were installed throughout the city centre, each adapted to open for only one hour (between 6pm and 6am) each night for the entire month. Pairs of mechanisms would open for a different hour, so one pair might open from 7pm until 8pm, another from 1am until 2am. Each photograph therefore represents 30 hours of total exposure broken down into 30 hourly slices.

Attached to the trunks of trees, high up and out of reach, in similar positions to surveillance cameras, the Mark III’s were able to silently observe, free from suspicion. Nocturnal city life records as a blur, footsteps can be seen on frost-laden grass and car headlights appear as streaks of colour, but humanity is largely unseen. Integral to the series is an elongated sense of the temporal, stretching the static nature of still photography to its limits, we see an implicit embodiment of time passing rather than an explicit snapshot of British life.

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