Dark Adaptation extends the experiments with alternative optical systems I began in Refraction Series (2008). These films are rooted in the experiments and writings of Ibn Al-Haytham and Isaac Newton, pioneering investigators of the nature of sight and light. In them I use fundamental phenomena such as refraction and thin-film interference to create images of pure prismatic colour in motion. Dark Adaptation is both a true representation of a series of tiny performances with light that were recorded by the camera, and an analogue for an interior journey. The music is by Graham Stewart of Violence and the Sacred.

“Dark Adaptation… provides nothing but color, liquid and striated as it filters across the screen. Very reminiscent of the abstract mandala films of Jordan Belson, Dark Adaptation frequently prompts a viewer to wonder just how Gehman got these semi-solid colorforms onto celluloid…. [N]ot so much a movie you follow or decipher as it is a bliss-out tranceformer.” (Michael Sicinski, mubi notebook, Sept. 9, 2016)

Dark Adaptation received its world premiere at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.

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  • H.264,


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