Shot in the Dark: Nocturnal Philosophy and Night Photography

  • Bruno LessardEmail author


This chapter examines the neglected practice of night photography, and how it critically addresses the environmental, sociohistorical, and urban issues in recent series by Christina Seely, Bruno Lessard, Michel Huneault, and Jeanine Michna-Bales. Drawing on Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, and the emerging field of night studies to create a nocturnal philosophy—a dark photology—with which to frame the multifaceted issues at the heart of the series, the author examines the value that these photographic artists place upon night to document light pollution around the world, ongoing urban transformations in China, an environmental catastrophe and its aftermath in Québec, and the landscape of the Underground Railroad in the United States. These four series demonstrate how night photography offers a unique critical perspective on some of the most pressing problems of our age, and how these artists distance themselves from the predominantly diurnal register of documentary media.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ryerson UniversityTorontoCanada

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