Read e-book online Artificial Darkness: An Obscure History of Modern Art and PDF

By Noam M. Elcott

Darkness has a background and a uniquely smooth shape. distinctive from evening, shadows, and synthetic mild, “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 complex paintings and movie. Artificial Darkness is the 1st e-book to historicize and theorize this phenomenon and map its purposes throughout a number of media and artwork forms.

In exploring how man made darkness formed glossy paintings, movie, and media, Noam M. Elcott addresses seminal and imprecise 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 photos but in addition every little thing surrounding them: the reveal, the darkness, and the adventure of our bodies and house. on the middle of the publication is “the black screen,” a know-how of darkness that spawned today’s blue and eco-friendly displays and has undergirded a number of complicated artwork and picture practices to this day.

Turning favourite artwork and picture narratives on their heads, Artificial Darkness is a innovative therapy of an elusive, but primary, element of paintings and media history.

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

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102 In these contrived photographic portraits, the intricate study of chiaroscuro vital to the efforts of Rembrandt, Vermeer, and other Dutch painters was reduced to textbook instructions. 103 In nineteenth-century portrait photography, light and darkness were not wild universes to explore but effects to be ordered out of a catalog. The portion of a studio draped in nonactinic velvet for Rembrandt-like contrasts was also used to make so-called Cartes Russes, wherefrom photoportrait busts were isolated against colorful paper backdrops.

47 Fick’s black box with its “absolute black background”48 preceded Chevreul’s by more than a decade and, in turn, was surely preceded by others. ”50 Fick’s second reservation leaped from media technology to human physiology. Fick chastised Joseph Plateau—the Belgian physicist most famous for his 1832 invention of the phenakistoscope—for utilizing black surfaces that were not absolutely black. It appears that Plateau took the chastisement to heart. In the early 1870s, Plateau similarly distinguished absolute from material black, elaborated the experimental conditions necessary for its realization, and asserted its limited value to the science of human vision.

Collectively, they marked a radical departure from the long line of studios from which they ostensibly descended. 81 The quality of light in them was often, if not always, a central concern. But only with the advent of photography—followed immediately by the proliferation of photographic studios in the 1840s—did mediated light and mediated darkness become the norm. 84 The centerpiece of every photographic studio was the atelier where portraits were taken. Commonly known as “glass rooms” or “glass houses,” they assured the all-important proper disposition of light: No subject concerns the professional photographer more deeply than the glass room.

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


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