Night-time economy is an ongoing research project by artist Marc Atkinson developed during his stay at Charlois Aan Het Water in Rotterdam. The project is funded and supported by CBK Rotterdam and the Artists International Development Fund
The increasing impact of capitalism and globalization has led to a 24/7 society where the commodification of space and free time reaches ever deeper into our increasingly exhausted free time and Natural resources.
Many cities, however are capitalizing on the economic benefits of expanding the night-time economy. The countries of Western Europe are among the most light polluted in the world (International Dark Sky Association –www.darksky.org). Cities such as Rotterdam, Liverpool and London have developed innovative ways of lighting central areas to extend working and social activity. Artificial light however, is globally one of the most widely distributed forms of anthropogenic pollution. Artificial lighting masks natural monthly and seasonal regimes of lunar sky brightness in cities and increases the number and annual regime of full moon equivalent hours available to organisms during the night. Alongside the dissolution of traditional working hours and places of work, the fundamental changes to our natural cycles have potentially profound ecological, physiological and psychological consequences.
The project aims to research the impact of 24/7 culture through interviewing night workers, environmental experts, recently appointed Night wardens and mayors and local residents. Working with local communities, the lead artist will also track and capture changes in natural cycles of birds, marine life and plant-life. In addition visits to dark sky reserves in each country (Moores Reserve, South Downes, England & De Boschplaat, Netherlands) will enable capturing opposing of the cosmic night sky set against images of our polluted city skies. Interviews will collect points of view on the impact of 24/7 culture on individuals. Photography workshops and night walks will Lead local people to consider the themes of the project, explore their city and observe the cosmic night sky filtered through the impact of light pollution.