Nick Viaña August 27 2017

A Deeper Look into the Mundane


A Spotlight of micro and macro perspectives, using a microscope as a telescope. It is the cosmos in a petri dish - a drop of coffee as the storms of Jupiter.

Tell us why you decided to start the series?

I want to emphasize similarities between micro & macro perspectives. It is the idea that events as mundane as a drop of cream into coffee are every bit as furious as the storms of Jupiter. My interest to turn micro landscapes into accessible aerial photography was inspired first by the work going on at the University of Arizona with NASA's HiRISE camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. I wanted to use a microscope as a telescope, living in NYC without a night sky.

What are the conditions or preparations for microscopic filmmaking?

I have a small area for my microscope on top of the desk in my bedroom. I use a trinocular compound microscope with a camera that rests on top peering through the trinocular port. I have gathered around two dozen supravital stains off Amazon and have a long list of oddities & ideas for projects in the future.

How do you want to people to watch your films?

My videos are all posted without description. I want each individual to have their own perspective when they look through the lens. A label can stop someone from having that personal leap of thought. If I were to describe the process first as just supravital stains drying under a microscope, it could take away from the raw experience of the video. While one may see a cosmic landscape, another may see just a mess.

Tell us about the choregraphy, rhythm of these microscopic vignettes. Is your process calculated or improvised?

The signature part of the videos are their lack of choreography. I place the drop and then chemistry takes over. The key is having the camera focused in the right area at the right moment, to capture an incredible moment that may only last a second. Regarding the lack of music, I feel that one should be able to listen to any music they want, or no music at all, while watching my videos. 

About Author

Nick Viaña is a 24-year old Music Supervisor for Extreme Music, a division of Sony/ATV Music Publishing. He enjoys recording little moments in Brooklyn. In the absence of a night sky, he reveals the cosmos on a micro level with chemical reactions under a microscope.

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