One Day
One Day, 2011
video and sound installation

One Day is Vera Lutter’s first sound and video work, a twenty-four-hour recording of a landscape in the Petite Camargue Nature Preserve in French Alsace, this piece explores how the slightest of visual or acoustic cues, the voices of nature and their subtle transformations, evolve to define a single day. It is an observation of light and sound and an investigation into how those two phenomena operate as dynamic mirrors, dependant upon one another for their full expression.

Through a fixed frame, the camera observes One Day. Slow movements of clouds, tree branches, and insects activate the scene’s serene stillness while the tender, but constant shift of light remains hardly noticeable over the course of the day. Soft grays of a fog-imbued morning pasture are eventually amplified into vibrant and densely illuminated blues and greens at the height of the afternoon. During the night hours of nearly complete darkness the landscape is reduced to a dim silhouette, nearly disappearing from view.

The sound is equally meticulously archived over the course of the twenty-four hours. The daylight is enlivened by the call of various birds, the ambient sounds of near villages, and the wind, which creates a tender rustle in the vegetation. Throughout the piece we hear the delicate and luminous song of a nightingale as he marks his territory. At night, a chorus of frogs accompanies the lonely song of the nightingale, and the occasional grunt of a boar or the call of some other mysterious creature erupts from within the darkness.

An encompassing state of calm and reprieve embeds the viewer into the landscape and allows them to enter the particular time and space of the piece. Seemingly modest moments gain unpredictable intensity as the rising sun glimmers like a gem through the trees and eventually expands into a glowing flare, overwhelming the outline of land and sky. Occasionally an insect will land on the camera lens, obstructing the view for a brief moment; meanwhile, the jet stream of an airplane crosses the sky's calm blue expanse. The piece allows the viewer to experience an environment that easily remains unnoticed outside of the protected gallery space.