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"Artificial Darkness" | Professor Noam M. Elcott

Darkness has a history and a uniquely modern form. It was controlled and technologized in the nineteenth century and quickly shaped aesthetic, scientific, architectural, and spectacular practices: from the “black screen” of Étienne-Jules Marey and darkened theater of Richard Wagner to the magic theater and trick cinematography of Georges Méliès and the abstract dance of Oskar Schlemmer.
This lecture will present a conceptual, historical, and aesthetic overview of "artificial darkness" from the nineteenth century to the present.
Noam M. Elcott is Associate Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. He is the author of Artificial Darkness: A History of Modern Art and Media (University of Chicago Press), winner of the 2017 Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) Anne Friedberg Innovative Scholarship Award. Elcott is currently at work on Art in the First Screen Age: László Moholy-Nagy and the Cinefication of the Arts (University of Chicago Press), which traverses interwar painting, architecture, photography, film, theater, and exhibition design in the age of cinema. Elcott is an editor of the journal Grey Room which brings together scholarly and theoretical articles from the fields of architecture, art, media, and politics. He is the director (with Sarah H. Meister) of The August Sander Project (MoMA/Columbia), a five-year initiative exploring Sander's epic photo-portrait of German society People of the Twentieth Century.
Image: Oskar Schlemmer, Figurines in Space: Study for the Triadic Ballet, c. 1924. Gouache, ink, and cut-and-pasted gelatin silver prints on black paper. Museum of Modern Art, New York.
VISITOR INFORMATION: Oshman Hall is located in the McMurtry Building, located at 355 Roth Way on Stanford campus. Parking is free after 4 PM weekdays. Entry is free of charge and open to the public - all are encouraged to attend! Subscribe to announcements alike



Thursday, March 9, 2017. 05:30 PM


Oshman Hall, McMurtry Building, 355 Roth Way


Department of Art & Art History




Free and open to the public