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010_09 / 10 March 2017


Filipa César and Louis Henderson

Sunstone, 2017

7 mins 30 secs (excerpt, 30 mins)


Single-channel video, sound, colour.

Sunstone is co-commissioned by Gasworks, London; Contour Biennale 8, Mechelen; and the Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia, Lisbon


'The lighthouse, as a man-made object built to shed light into the dark unknown, encapsulates perfectly the desires of the Enlightenment project of modernity: the domination of nature through reason and intellect, the advancement of technology and trade on a global scale, the illuminatory transparency of European Christian morality  a beacon in the dark. This 'op-film' will be a disorienting and disoccidenting dérive from optical navigation to algorithms of locating  an essay against the grain of Western patterns of referencing and situating. From a film made with lenses and photosensitive celluloid to the desktop locating engine, we will navigate from the material production of Fresnel lenses to the invention of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS)  the tool that announces the obsolescence of the lighthouse.

GNSS alters human perception of space, powers of vision, and cartographic capabilities, and create new images of the world. With this new system of mapping come new forms of power and control. If the lighthouse signals a growth in transatlantic transportation, then satellite systems signal the transfer of the material substrate of commerce from goods to data. GNSS is born in an age of the networked interpolation of military space, civic space, commercial space, private space, and public space. The lighthouse remains on the shores of consciousness as a form of thinking  GNSS navigates it further.'

About the author

Filipa César and Louis Henderson

Filipa César (1975 in Porto (Portugal), lives in Berlin) and Louis Henderson (1983 in Norwich (United Kingdom), lives in Paris and Lisbon).


Filipa César is interested in the porous boundaries between the moving image and its reception as well as in the economies, politics, and poetics inherent to cinema praxis. In 2017, César premiered her first feature length film "Spell Reel," at the Forum section of the Berlinale Film Festival. The film is the result of a multifaceted six year long research and digitisation project that she initiated with multiple allies including the Guinean filmmakers Flora Gomes and Sana na N'Hada, as well as the Arsenal  Institute for Film and Video Art in Berlin. Her projects have been exhibited, screened and performed widely, at the Hordaland Kunstsenter, Bergen (solo, 2014); KW  Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin (2013); Kunstmuseum St. Gallen (solo, 2013); The Showroom London (solo, 2012); Jeu de Paume, Paris (solo, 2012); Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (solo, 2011); Manifesta 8; the 29th São Paulo Biennial (2010); among others.


Louis Henderson is a filmmaker whose works investigate connections between colonialism, technology, capitalism and history. His research seeks to formulate an archaeological method within film practice reflecting on animistic materialism. Henderson has shown his work at places such as; Rotterdam International Film Festival, Doc Lisboa, CPH:DOX, New York Film Festival, The Contour Biennial, The Kiev Biennial, The Centre Pompidou, SAVVY Contemporary, The Gene Siskell Film Centre and Tate Britain. In 2015 he was the recipient of the Barbara Aronofsky Latham Award for Emerging Video Artist at the 53rd Ann Arbor Film Festival, USA, and a European Short Film Award  New Horizons International Film Festival, Wroclaw, Poland. His work is distributed by Lux (UK) and Video Data Bank (USA).