The human eye can only detect light (and, in turn, colour) from wavelengths in the range of 400 to 700 nanometres (nm). Infrared light sits outside of this spectrum, with much longer wavelengths that remain invisible. Karen Constine reveals this world, subverting the Los Angeles landscape using an infrared camera (665nm). Deserted suburban streets are transformed into hallucinogenic planes. The images are beguiling, with greens expanded into pinks: hedges like spun candy-floss; palms like flamingo feathers. Here, Constine explores the realms between façade and reality. She notes: “Pre- pandemic, the streets of Los Angeles were decidedly at odds. Increasing homelessness, changing demographics and rapid gentrification were in motion, but, this was still the movie backlot of the world – a pretend land, a place for dreamers. During long walks in the time of Covid, the city revealed a new self.”
1. Covid LA, Day 168, 3:54pm (detail) ©Karen Constine.
2. Covid LA, Day 149, 4:58pm (detail) ©Karen Constine.
3. Covid LA, Day 62, 9:16am (detail) ©Karen Constine
4. Covid LA, Day 62, 8:09am (detail) ©Karen Constine
5. Covid LA, Day 149, 5:10pm (detail) ©Karen Constine
6. Covid LA, Day 62, 9:26am (detail) ©Karen Constine