March 5th 1979, 2011

16mm black and white film. No sound
4 min. 20 sec. Ed. 3 + A.P.

March 5th 1979 shows through a series of still images a luminous phenomena that took place in the Canary Islands on March 5th 1979. For years the event was considered to be one of the most remarcable UFO sightings and it was not until a few years ago that it was publicly admitted to be caused by two ballistic missiles launched from US Navy Submarines maneuvering close to the islands. The incident happened in two episodes. The first one started with the appearance of concentric rings occupying an extensive area and the second followed with the development of a huge bright dome that slowly dissapeared leaving a thin light trail in the sky.

The film was made shooting a series of photographs I found on internet, taken the day of the incident by witnesses from different points of the archipelago. I rephotographed these images using different lens to obtain medium-shots and extreme close-ups, and finally filmed them with a 16mm camera.

Although the sequence was constructed following the chronological order of the event, an illusion of movement is not perceived. Instead our attention is driven to the image itself, its undefinition, formal features, the thick grain, the sinuous shapes and high contrast between light and darkness. The 55 images contained in the film stay on screen a longer time than usual in still image animation, between 1 and 7 seconds, allowing an attentive observation and causing a certain hypnotical effect.