Joe King’s most recent project Strange Lights (2010) explores the use of long exposure photography at night, and is conceived as the first of three pieces. The project investigates stills photography and in particular long exposure and astrophotography. Stills of the night sky are animated to produce moving-image sequences.
The film takes place at the site of an infamous British UFO incident. On a winter's night in 1980, American servicemen stationed at an RAF base witnessed some 'unexplained lights' through the trees in Rendlesham Forest. The incident has since become Britain's most famous UFO mystery. with abounding rumours of conspiracies and cover-ups. Some argue that the incident was a hoax, while others believe that the forest is a doorway to another dimension. Maintaining a balance between celebration and criticality, this film revisits the forest, 30 years later, in search of similarly 'inexplicable' events.
The project is a collaboration with fellow filmmaker Rosie Pedlow, who collaborated on Sea Change. The project also acts as an investigation into the formal qualities of sequenced, long exposure photography: tracing movements and paths of light, while at the same time removing the source or carrier; and simultaneously highlighting and bringing to life barely perceptible movements, such as those of the stars.