Public Observatory - Towards Civil Dusk

De Cleene De Cleene

27.06.2020, 21:30 — 22:15 Performance

A man walks to a shed on a summer evening. It’s a grey night. A geometrical patch of artichoke green moves between the hedges and trees. Someone once told you it rains diamonds on Neptune.

On 27 June 2020, Extra City becomes a public observatory for one evening. On the exhibition space’s roof amateur-astronomers set up a telescope.* The instrument comes equipped with a camera and streams its footage in real-time. In combination with short filmic observations, a soundtrack, and a voice, a story unfolds.

Public Observatory - Towards Civil Dusk is an artistic approach of the world of amateur astronomical observations. Each night a plethora of amateur-astronomers gazes into the sky. Theirs is a unique, pivotal position. Nights on end, they can be found observing, in public observatories or in their private backyards. They popularize science by offering their expertise and telescopes to the lay community, or offer crucial observational data for the scientific community of professional astronomers. It’s a world of stark contradictions. It’s both highly technological and very DIY. It combines advanced scientific knowledge with a direct, romantic appreciation of celestial bodies. It’s a solitary endeavor that nevertheless gives rise to large communities of like-minded souls.

De Cleene De Cleene focusses on novel ways of approaching the everyday, by artistic means and from a cultural and critical perspective. Research is conducted into an array of varied topics, such as the movement of flags, the conservation of movie set scale models, the aesthetics of the parking lot, the 1872 eruption of Mount Vesuvius, and communication in amateur astronomical societies. A background in photography and literature is combined with an interest in documentary practices. De Cleene De Cleene’s documenting of phenomena, people, landscapes, buildings, technologies and objects leads to publications in scientific journals, artworks, curated exhibitions, talks, presentations, and book publications.

Tune in on June 27th at 21h30 by clicking this videolink:


Public Observatory – Towards Civil Dusk is a work by De Cleene De Cleene and is part of Documenting Objects, a research project by Arnout De Cleene and Michiel De Cleene at KASK & CONSERVATORIUM School of Arts Gent.

* The scattered light in this neighborhood and the time of year make it difficult to see celestial objects. It allows viewing other things, though.**

** Depending on weather conditions.


27.06.2020, from 21u30 to 22u15
Due to COVID-19, this performance will take place online.

De Cleene De Cleene - Public Observatory - Towards Civil Dusk

Location Online, World Wide Web

Daily Nightshift 21.03.2020—28.06.2020