A Necessary Darkness

Rona Lee

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


A Necessary Darkness 2017 - (commissioned by the Amsterdam Light Festival* in partnership with NEMO - the Dutch Museum of Science). a large scale projection on to the Renzo Piano designed ‘NEMO’ building (Oosterdok 2 Amsterdam) dusk - 11pm daily 30 November 2017 until 21 January 2018

Contemporary satellite imagery of the world at night reveals a spreading blaze of illumination - the by-product of a 24-hour economy centred on production and consumption - which threatens to banish darkness altogether. What will it mean for future generations to grow up under skies where the stars are continuously obliterated by an orange glow and what of the effects on the body of continuous night time work? Traditionally beacons of safety and civilization - rather than a beam of welcoming light - this ‘house of light made dark’ generates a sweep of uncanny blackness.

Informed by ideas of the Anthropocene, a term used by scientists to refer to the increasing impact of human existence upon the planet’s eco systems, A Necessary Darkness suggests the need in an age of illumination for wonder, uncertainty and otherness.

*The Amsterdam Light Festival is an annual international event which draws audiences of 850,000. In 2017-18 the theme of festival was Existentialism. A call for ideas drew 900 submissions from designers, architects and artists in 45 different countries,
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherAmsterdam Light Festival
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2017
EventAmsterdam Light Festival - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 30 Nov 201721 Jan 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'A Necessary Darkness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this