Black Summer

Black Summer – Australia 2019/2020

by Felix Dierich soundtrack by Roman Vehlken D 2022

hybrid short film – experimental animated documentary – 4K or FHD 16:9 – 5.1 sound – 11:40 min
video installation – 4K or FHD, multi-channel loop – stereo or 5.1 sound – 10 min

In the “Black Summer” of 2019/2020, Australia had some of the worst bushfires in its history. More than 20% of the forested area of the continent was destroyed, more than a billion animals were killed along with significant human casualties. The meteorological satellite Himawari-8 observed this catastrophe from the far distance.

For this experimental animated documentary, terabytes of satellite data were processed with specially developed algorithms, combining visible light and infrared measurements with heat detection. Animated, the rendered images form a hypnotic stream, documenting the catastrophe like never seen before. The work is presented as a hybrid short film or a video installation.

Screenings „Black Summer“ short film

Video installation „Black Summer“

Links and Contact

See the „Black Summer“ Facebook page and Instagram @felixdierich for more news.

Interview with the filmmaker by the mdr short film magazine „unicato“ (in German):
Felix Dierich zeigt die Folgen des Klimawandels aus Satelliten-Perspektive (ARD Mediathek)

Contact the filmmaker at

Links about the Australian Black Summer:
Links about the satellite Himawari-8:

Works by Felix Dierich

Short films:
  • Halt (2003)
  • Rocky (2013)
  • A Year Along the Geostationary Orbit (2018) – on Vimeo (Staff Pick Premiere)
  • Shapes and Sizes, Storms and Smoke (2020)
  • Three Unknown Territories (2020)
  • Black Summer – Australia 2019/2020 (short film, 2022)
  • Night Over R32 (2023)
  • OL night trash (video installation, 200?)
  • Nachrichtennetzwerk, Ausstellung Medienumbrüche (interactive news network installation, 2004)
  • Black Summer – Australia 2019/2020 (video installation, 2023)


Credits of „Black Summer – Australia 2019/2020“

Concept, Algorithms and Coding, Image Creation, Colour, CompositingFelix Dierich
SoundtrackRoman Vehlken
Himawari-8 Satellite dataJapan Meteorological Agency (JMA)
Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)
National Computational Infrastructure (NCI)

Non-profit project, not a commercial website.
© 2022-2023 Felix Dierich – all rights reserved