#forest phosphorescense

this stuff is bloody amazing!!!

Below is a copy of a proposal I wrote a while ago, I have included it as a base for this project..no doubt it will change and evolve as my research continues…

Forest Bioluminescence by thiscountryside

This project idea takes its inspiration from the clouds of fireflies and swathes of bioluminescence that I have seen in the forests and oceans of Africa. I was also lucky enough to grow up next to a large forest and they have always had a magical hold over me, an ability to transport me to a different world.

I want to build giant catapults, or similar projectile devices, out of local timber and materials and then launch a cluster, or several clusters, containing thousands of flashing blue LEDs into the night sky above the forest. Within the cluster would be a small explosive or pressure charge that would scatter the LEDs across the sky as they fall back to earth and into the forest canopy. The individual LEDs would tumble and trickle through the branches temporarily filling the forest floor with thousands of little lights echoing clouds of fireflies and bioluminescence and transforming the forest environment into something even more ethereal and other-worldly and linking it to tropical forests and habitats across the world.

These happenings would be filmed from start to finish, the construction of the devices providing an initial narrative, and a series of films made in different forests across the country would be the end result. As the cluster, or ball, of LEDs flies into the sky it would be filmed from a suitable distant vantage point, at the same time cameras would be set up in the forest around the landing area. This landing area would also be open to the public so they could experience the event and move through the forest as its floor fills with twinkling lights falling from the branches. The public generally don’t get the opportunity to explore their forests at night so this would also provide that opportunity in a unique and magical way.  The LEDs would remain throughout the night before every trace of them was removed as if nothing ever happened. From a distance a blue flash would appear to travel across the sky and then disappear into the forest again adding to the narrative and the magic of forests. I would work with film makers, craftspeople and prop makers that I know to realise this idea. The LEDs would all be collected after each happening and the batteries disconnected until the next event. Their construction is very simple and each individual piece consists of an LED, a button cell battery and some sticky-tape. The button cell batteries are widely and easily recycled and the LEDs could either be recycled or donated.

The context of the forest is vital to this idea, visually I think the lights dropping through the branches and onto the forest floor will look brilliant, the trees providing a framework and a form, a 3D space, for the lights as they fall and the lights, in turn, highlighting the form of the trees and the forest landscape. A dark and normally unseen area of woodland mapped out by thousands of tiny lights.

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