Artificial Darkness: An Obscure History of Modern Art and - download pdf or read online

By Noam M. Elcott

Darkness has a historical past and a uniquely sleek shape. special from evening, shadows, and synthetic gentle, “artificial darkness” has been overlooked—until now. actually, managed darkness was once necessary to the increase of images and cinema, technology and spectacle, and a century of complicated paintings and movie. Artificial Darkness is the 1st publication to historicize and theorize this phenomenon and map its functions throughout a number media and artwork forms.

In exploring how synthetic darkness formed smooth artwork, movie, and media, Noam M. Elcott addresses seminal and vague works along their websites of production—such as images darkrooms, movie studios, and laboratories—and their websites of reception, together with theaters, cinemas, and exhibitions. He argues that artists, scientists, and entertainers like Étienne-Jules Marey, Richard Wagner, Georges Méliès, and Oskar Schlemmer revolutionized not just pictures but in addition every thing surrounding them: the monitor, the darkness, and the event of our bodies and house. on the middle of the e-book is “the black screen,” a expertise of darkness that spawned today’s blue and eco-friendly displays and has undergirded a number of complex artwork and movie practices to this day.

Turning prevalent artwork and movie narratives on their heads, Artificial Darkness is a progressive therapy of an elusive, but primary, point of artwork and media history.

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Additional resources for Artificial Darkness: An Obscure History of Modern Art and Media

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Alongside “black screen,” Marey advanced a potpourri of terms: 21 \ ar t I F I c I al Dar k N E S S FI g. 4. Marey, black screens from 1886 (at the left) and 1887 (at the rear). Album H, plate 5, Musée Marey, Beaune. “black field” (champ noir),13 “deep” or “dark shed” (hangar profond, obscur),14 dark cavity (cavité obscur), black opening (ouverture noire), black ground (fond noir), and other compound terms steamrolled, in contemporaneous translations, into the English omnibus “dark chamber”15—a particularly maladroit translation as the French equivalent, chambre noire, was reserved for the camera, the appareil photographique.

More immediately, Marey’s dispositif of darkness produced its own double: the self-disciplined, self-annihilating scientific subject within the dark room on wheels was mirrored by the self-disciplined, selfannihilating subject before the black screen. As Marey increased the number of exposures in an effort to trace movements with ever greater precision, he quickly understood that the complete presence of the body impeded its chronophotographic inscription. Overlapping limbs—the result of closely spaced exposures—delivered illegible photographs (fig.

Album H, plate 5, Musée Marey, Beaune. “black field” (champ noir),13 “deep” or “dark shed” (hangar profond, obscur),14 dark cavity (cavité obscur), black opening (ouverture noire), black ground (fond noir), and other compound terms steamrolled, in contemporaneous translations, into the English omnibus “dark chamber”15—a particularly maladroit translation as the French equivalent, chambre noire, was reserved for the camera, the appareil photographique. And yet the translator’s confusion among the various “dark chambers” in Marey’s dispositif betrayed the complementary darknesses that bolstered chronophotography.

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Artificial Darkness: An Obscure History of Modern Art and Media by Noam M. Elcott


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