Tim Edensor, From Light to Dark: Daylight, Illumination, and Gloom – now out from University of Minnesota Press
Light pervades the world, and when it is not light, darkness emerges and is combated by electric illumination. Despite this globally shared human experience in which spaces appear radically different depending on time, season, and weather, social science investigation on the subject is meager. From Light to Dark fills this gap, focusing on our interaction with daylight, illumination, and darkness.
Tim Edensor begins by examining the effects of daylight on our perception of landscape, drawing on artworks, particular landscapes, and architectural practice. He then considers the ways in which illumination is often contested and can be used to express power, looking at how capitalist, class, ethnic, military, and state power use lighting to reinforce their authority over space. Edensor also considers light artists such as Olafur Eliasson and festivals of illumination before turning a critical eye to the supposedly dangerous, sinister associations of darkness. In examining the modern city as a space of fantasy through electric illumination, he studies how we are seeking—and should seek—new forms of darkness in reaction to the perpetual glow of urban lighting.
Highly original and absorbingly written, From Light to Dark analyzes a vast array of artistic interventions, diverse spaces, and lighting technologies to explore these most basic human experiences.