Volker Crone
About the End of Darkness

On the night of 17 January 1994, the power went out after an earthquake in the megalopolis of Los Angeles. Shortly thereafter, the city’s emergency call centres received many calls. The callers reported that they had seen huge, extraordinary silvery clouds in the night sky. The sudden darkness and complete absence of electric light had made the Milky Way visible. The invention of gas lamps and, later, electric lighting allowed artificial illumination to penetrate all areas of life. Since then, society has increasingly moved away from natural circadian rhythms. As always, night stands for the evil and the hidden. In contrast, light symbolises awareness, protection and knowledge. The night sky is constantly dimmed by light emissions; a clear view of the sky is not possible. With this photoessay, Volker Crone questions the constant availability of light.

  • Artificiality
  • Optimisation
  • Science
3 Questions
1. The door opener: Can you describe a formative moment in your career as a visual journalist?

One defining moment I particularly cherish as a photographer is the moment of recognition. There is one nearly every time. You learn a bit more, or learn something completely new about the thing you’re working on, about the people you’re working with or about yourself. Sometimes you learn that certain things don’t look or happen in any way you had anticipated. That is the exciting moment when you have to leave your set list behind so you can respond to what is actually happening.

2. The decisive moment: When did you first encounter your topic and why did you decide to cover it photographically?

For a long time, I’ve been interested in how artificial light changes the mood and character of our living spaces both overnight and as a general rule. But I didn’t start working on it until I had understood the ecological and social relevance of the subject. The camera is the most suitable tool, for me and for this topic, as taking photos is nothing more than recording light.

3. The future: What could the visual journalism of the future be like?

I would like the visual journalism of the future to be ethically enlightened, responsible, moral and critical (even of itself). It should be steered much less by economic considerations. The boundaries of photographic narratability and the pictorial worlds created by visual journalism should constantly be re-examined. The photographs produced in this way will then look the way the photographer thinks they should look.


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The section from the video shows the photographer during an examination in a sleep laboratory.

The photographer Volker Crone explains his motivation for doing an examination in the sleep laboratory for his work.

The data sheet shows the scientific results of Volker Crone’s sleep.

Curated by Jan Nasemann

© for all photos by the photographers
© for videos Lumix Festival Hanover, if not indicated otherwise.

*1988 in Papenburg, Germany
After working as a postman, night porter and assembly-line worker, and breaking off his study of Philosophy, Volker Crone studied Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts. His conceptual, documentary-photographic work won both the Newcomer Award at the Photo Festival Horizonte Zingst and the BFF Promotional Award in 2018. In 2019, Crone was awarded the Acatech PUNKT Prize for technique photography.


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