Kept in The Dark

Research output: Contributions to conferencesPaperpeer-review



Researching a topic such as Lighting Design using the contents of archives both here at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and at Glyndebourne Opera is a daunting task. How can one look at and discuss an aspect of the theatrical art form as ephemeral and passing as lighting? What can information kept in the dark recesses of archives tell us today of lighting designs long past? Technology has of course advanced to allow us visual references in the form of recordings and photographs, but those will always be an interpretation of the work, taken at a particular angle, framed in a particular way with a particular camera setting, never a true record of the work itself. Interviews with practitioners can illuminate the past further and will help the researcher form a more complete image of designs of the past, but how close can words get to forming a picture of the reality of the lighting design? Using my own expertise in the subject and an open mind I hope to be able to produce an analysis of the impact advances in technology have had on the art of lighting design over a period of about 60 years in my doctoral research. In this talk, I will report on how my early research in this subject is progressing and on the limitations of archival research in a field with no standardised archiving methods, where the ephemeral nature of the work itself can never be preserved fully.


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished or Performed - 2016
EventIFTR 2016 - Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 13 Jun 201617 Jun 2016


ConferenceIFTR 2016