It’s never dark any more. Before there were cities, we lived for centuries upon centuries amid the varying quality of light. We moved from forest to city, and even then we lived between the light and the dark under sun, moon, and stars for hundreds of years.
Today, we humans have spread light everywhere for safety, fear, luxury, commerce, travel…the list is endless. We’re constantly inventing ways to banish the dark from our lives. Light 24-7 the time has changed life.
Like our kin of the forest, we evolved to manage the ebb and flow of light in our lives. Our rhythms evolved to handle an ever-changing array of light and dark: Sleep, health, migration, sex, growth. We’ve changed the rhythm for all.
It’s Never Dark. The question is: Is that good?
- Materials: Hand-dyed cotton, hand-dyed silk, cotton-polyester thread, bondaweb, acrylic paint, oil sticks, dye.
- Series: American Village
- Size: 21.5 inches x 25 inches (55 cm x 64 cm)
- Completed: 2023
- Current location: Private Collection
My Thoughts on the Work
As I worked with It’s Never Dark, my mind kept returning to the dualistic nature of our perma-lit world. One one had, we at least believe crime is down. We see travel is easier and safer. The Darkness holds no power over us any more.
On the other hand, all this light is having a negative effect on our health and sleep rhythms, changing how birds migrate, and generally forcing all the other beings who share this place with us to adapt or die. We didn’t ask them if this lighting the night was wise.
I hardly remember the time before LED lights and 24-hour streetlights. I wonder what all this light will do to the childhoods of those being born now, those who are too young to have known truly dark nights. Will they crave a night sky splattered with so many points of light it’s impossible to count them all? Will they recognize the difference between a moonlit night and one that’s dark as pitch? Will they ever know such a dark night except in metaphor or artificially created by hiding in a darkened basement room?
It’s Never Dark is about the murky quality of life in our well-lit world.