February Night Lights: Laura Heit presents “Hypothetical Stars II” in conjunction with the Portland Winter Light Festival on February 2

PORTLAND, ORE – For February’s installment of Night Lights, artist Laura Heit will present Hypothetical Stars II on RACC’s north exterior wall at 411 NW Park Avenue in Portland on February 2 between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. This month, Night Lights is an affiliate site for The Portland Winter Light Festival, which is now in its second year.

Hypothetical Stars II is a hand-drawn animated installation that employs the artist’s marks as interventions into 16mm footage taken from the NASA Apollo 12 mission. Being the first mission after the moon landing, it was notable for being the first to bring a color TV camera. And for the fact that, upon landing, the camera was pointed at the sun and inadvertently destroyed, immediately terminating the television broadcast. This piece asks us to consider a new view of that which we cannot see with the naked eye, where images sent back from the outer reaches are not seen as scientific truth but as deeply connected to our own desires and mirrors of our unconscious. Hypothetical Stars II uses thrown shadows from tabletop dioramas and reflected and refracted animated projections to create a universe of hypothetical stars, moons, and planets. Recreated on a large scale for Night Lights this piece transforms the parking lot into a 360 degree speculative star system. This installation coincides with two films completed in 2015 when NASA released its image archive into the public domain that spring.

About the Artist: Laura Heit is a multidisciplinary artist who engages experimental animation, performance, installation and writing. Disquieting and evocative, her work seamlessly crosses genres to unfold poetic visual narratives. Heit employs a strong handmade aesthetic, an irreverent sense of humor, drawing, puppetry, and animation, to bring together ideas and stories about ghosts, catastrophe, and invisibility. Screenings include; Rotterdam IFF, Annecy, Hong Kong IFF, London IFF, Ann Arbor Film Festival (1997, 2012, 2015), Black Maria, Walker Art Center, MOMA, Millennium Film, and the Guggenheim Museum, REDCAT, Aurora Picture Show, Pacific Film Archive, and others. She currently lives in Portland OR, USA.

Night Lights is a monthly public art event that promotes digital media, urban intervention, and technological innovation. On the First Thursdays of October through April, select artists are able to showcase their work on the North Wall of the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Night Lights is a collaboration between Open Signal and RACC.


The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) was established in 1995 and is funded by public and private partners to serve artists, arts organizations, schools and residents throughout Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. RACC provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through workplace giving and other programs; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and integrates the arts into K-8 curriculum through The Right Brain Initiative. Online at www.racc.org.

With a commitment to creativity, technology and social change, Open Signal makes media production possible for everyone. We provide skills, equipment, inspiration and we amplify local voices on five cable channels. www.opensignalpdx.org

The Portland Winter Light Festival, is a premier winter event hosted at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). This outdoor celebration illuminates Portland’s waterfront through contemporary light-based art installations, engaging performance, and fun activities for all ages. Free and open to the public, this nighttime community-supported event generates critical opportunities for artists, designers, creatives, makers and performers to collectively expand art, performance and technology innovations in our region. No tickets are needed for this outdoor event – simply show up and enjoy the show! Go to www.pdxwlf.com for more information and festival locations.