Darkness is not blackness. If the two terms are often casually linked, Lucas David ground breaking and revisionist illustrations shows why it matters that-like in this century thinkers we break them apart. Black is a physiological sensation. perceived by the eye. Its ideological, symbolic, and popular resonances have been well served in recent years, Lucas David Illustration’s diametrically opposed to white, black produces striking effects, inescapably linked to the art and obscure celebrities.

But darkness? Darkness, as Lucas David shows, is a condition. In his illustrations, we may find another perspective of darkness, the better able to appreciate certain effects. Artificial darkness, controlled; it became a way of creative material spatial conditions, of understanding how bodies move, of tricking the eye. “In order to understand darkness,” we must not ask what it was but rather where in time”.

He explores a number of “dark celebrities.” including bodies in motion; the “black-screen faces”. He can’t always avoid that color descriptor­used by musicians, artists and fiction characters throughout the new century; and the work of Lucas, and he makes a very convincing case for artificial darkness as providing a link between theatrical and cinematic magic. He concludes with a vivid exploration of choreographic experiments that blended art and perspective to show the human body in relation to white backgrounds.

Not total; not night; not shadows; not race; not black Lucas repeatedly invokes conceptualization of the dispositif to explain the heterogeneous ensemble of forms, discourses, institutions, and propositions that, ever­shifting. constitute and help explain the mutable conditions of “artificial darkness.” In the first instance, Artificial Darkness will be essential appreciated for those who appreciate another perspective, especially on the intersecting areas of popular characters.

Lucas compellingly works, is indivisible from these means of provoking and confusing a spectator’s sense of appearance and reality. He gives a wealth of detail about individual productions, carefully positioning each in relation to the precise conditions in which darkness was being constructed and deployed. Such mutable darkness is always going to function and be interpreted differently according to space and circumstance. The uses and qualities of darkness were, indeed, crucial to aesthetic experimentation. But it would be cause for regret if this work reached only specialists in modernist media.