Dry Lights

"A trip through an electric desert."

Born from the collaboration of Paris-based filmmaker Xavier Chassaing and musician Thomas Vaquié, Dry Lights is an experimental short that uses a desert landscape at night as a big canvas to play with light. With an emphasis on aesthetics and sound, the short offers a voyage through various dynamic patterns of light interacting with the landscape. Some abstract, some artificial, some mimicking the motion of fluids, bringing alive a place that is usually static. The camera alternates between wide and close-up shots, going from the micro to the macro, with varying visual rhythm. Using CG for the production, the author has aimed for a photorealistic, at times stylized aesthetic, with the intention to produce surreal visuals that transmit a sense of mystery.

Chassaing states that “meditation and self-hypnosis are central to my work (…) When working through an idea, it is like trying to sleep when you have a fever: the same dream or nightmare repeats again and again, but eventually a lot comes from that; our dreams encompass visions and concepts.”

The film was inspired by projection mapping techniques and video installations displayed at Proyecta Oaxaca festival, which took place in 2013 at the ethnobotanical garden in Oaxaca, Mexico. For the occasion, several artists from the ANTIVJ group created four site-specific installations, based on the garden’s vast spaces.

Xavier Chassaing highlights the importance of the collaboration process with musician and composer Thomas Vaquié on the production of the film: “we did a lot of ‘ping pong’ so the sound was a big starting point for the images and then the opposite”. The interaction between sound and visuals plays a central role in the short.

 Official website 



Dry Lights description at AntiVJ


AntiVJ project information


The Ark by Romain Tardy and Squeaky Lobster installation at Proyecta Oaxaca


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