2011, 16mm film, 14:16
Since comets have been recorded, they’ve augured disaster: catastrophe, messiahs, upheaval and end times. A short film about these meteoric ice-cored fireballs and their historic ties to divination that combines imagery of 15th-18th century European broadsides with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory footage.
…These Blazeing Starrs! juxtaposes a modern empirical desire to probe and measure against older methods, when star gazers were translators, explicating the sky more intuitively for predictions of human folly. Comets are now understood as time capsules harboring elemental information about the formation of our solar system. Today we smash rockets into them to read spectral signatures. In a sense, they remain oracles - it’s just the manner of divining which has changed.
...These Blazeing Starrs!
Threaten the World
with Famine, Plague, & Warrs:
To Princes, Death:
to Kingdoms, many Crosses:
To all Estates, inevitable Losses!
To Herds-men, Rot’
to Plowmen, haples Seasons:
To Saylors, Storms;
to Cittyes, Civil Treasons.
- Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, 1578
Music/Sounds: Disinformation, John Duncan & Max Springer, Ryoji Ikeda, L.O.S.D., Pansonic, S.E.T.I.
Additional Footage: NASA/JPL
Camera, Edit, Sound Design: Deborah Stratman
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