Grey Room

Noam M. Elcott

Editor, Contributor

Noam M. Elcott is Associate Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. He specializes in the history and theory of modern art and media, with an emphasis on interwar art, photography, and film. He also teaches and writes on contemporary art. Elcott’s first book, Artificial Darkness: An Obscure History of Modern Art and Media (University of Chicago Press 2016), argues that darkness has a history and a uniquely modern form. Darkness was controlled and technologized in the nineteenth century and quickly shaped aesthetic, scientific, architectural, and spectacular practices: from the “black screen” of Étienne-Jules Marey and darkened theater of Richard Wagner to the magic theater and trick cinematography of Georges Méliès and the abstract dance of Oskar Schlemmer. He is at work on a second book, Art in the First Screen Age: László Moholy-Nagy and the Cinefication ofthe Arts, which pursues the “cinefication” of architecture, painting, photography, theater, and exhibitions in the early twentieth century. His essays have appeared in leading journals like Grey Room, October, and Aperture, as well as in many museum catalogues and scholarly volumes.