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Reconnecting with darkness: Gloomy landscapes, lightless places

Edensor, T (2013) Reconnecting with darkness: Gloomy landscapes, lightless places. Social and Cultural Geography, 14. ISSN 1464-9365


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This paper investigates the effects and affects of darkness, a condition that is progressively becoming less familiar for those of us in the over-illuminated West. In countering the prevailing cultural understanding that darkness is a negative condition, I draw attention to other historical and cultural ways of positively valuing darkness. Subsequently, in drawing on two sites, a gloomy landscape at a dark sky park in South Scotland, and a tourist attraction in which a simulation of New York is experienced in a completely dark environment, I explore the multivalent qualities of darkness. In foregrounding the becoming of sensory experience in gloomy space, I highlight the mobilisation of alternative modes of visual perception in as well as the emergence of non-visual apprehensions, and suggest that the potentialities of darkness might foster progressive forms of conviviality, communication and imagination. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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