Multiple Blindings: American Urban Illuminations
Next Thursday, September 27 in 2150 Torgersen Hall from 6:00-8:00 p.m., David Nye will present the 29th Annual Nicholas C. Mullins Lecture- "Multiple Blindings: American Urban Illuminations." Snacks and conversation to begin at 5:30.
Please contact Josh Earle (firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding remote access to the lecture.
David Nye, University of Southern Denmark and Senior Research Fellow, Charles Babbage Institute and The History of Science and Technology, Anderson Library, University of Minnesota
29th Annual Nicholas C. Mullins Lecture: "Multiple Blindings: American Urban Illuminations"
Walter Benjamin observed, "overabundance of light produces multiple blindings." (Susan Buck-Morss, The Dialetics of Seeing, p. 309.) This lecture will explore Benjamin's observation in the context of the shift from gas to electric lighting, which stimulated competition and led to experimentation with different kinds of street lighting, which were spectacularly displayed at expositions and in dramatic lighting ceremonies in city centers. It will concern primarily but not exclusively the fifteen largest cities in the United States, and it will rely on a variety of sources, including the electrical corporations, engineers, newspapers, writers, advertisers, city planners, and architects. The lecture, including many illustrations, is based on American Illuminations, MIT Press, 2018.