Fluorescent lights do not produce a continuous stream of illumination; instead, they flicker. Pulsations at frequencies of 60Hz and above are inadequate to produce cognizant awareness but can induce a neural response in people sensitive to those wavelengths. Headaches, eye fatigue and nausea are some of the common symptoms. Yet, for the most part, the hum and flicker of fluorescent lighting that many of us work, eat and shop under, goes unnoticed. By law, higher-efficient lighting has been phased in since 2012, but many older fixtures are still found in millions of offices, schools, retail stores, factories and warehouses. The technology of these older systems is such that the light intensity and color temperature can vary significantly through a series of equally exposed frames. Cameras equipped with a unique rolling-shutter system show clearly these fluctuating rhythms. FLICKERLAND is a series of the light most commonly used to illuminate our indoor worlds.
Shawn Rocco is a photographer and multimedia producer for Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Raised in upstate New York, he majored in environmental science and minored in photography at Plattsburgh State (SUNY). Prior to his current position, he was a staff photojournalist with The News & Observer in Raleigh and an adjunct professor in the journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill. In 2011, he was named Photojournalist of the Year by the North Carolina Press Photographers Association.