To Live under an Illuminated Tent: The City Dark (2011)

I just watched the documentary by Ian Cheney titled “The City Dark” (2011)–> another interesting perspective on the city and culture–light/darkness. A few minutes in, Ian states that living in New York is like living under an illuminated tent. An astronomer at City College Staten Island says he never saw as much of the sky as when the northeast was experiencing a blackout; interviews with an astronaut, neurologist, Med. school scientist, cosmologist, lighting designer, and of course Neil deGrasse Tyson, who says that (by his own admission “it is a sickeningly urban thing to say” [my emphasis]) the real night sky he sees when on mountaintops at times reminds him of the planetarium he experienced as a kid. The city is clearly a center of light, of brightness, that has aided in changing the natural rhythms experienced by human beings on the earth, and perhaps even obscuring, alienating us from the sky (here Lefebvre’s work on daily life, capital’s effect on rhythms and the lot seems to me to be deeply relevant).

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