Building New Perceptions of Duration through László Moholy-Nagy’s “Light Space Modulator”
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This paper focuses on Henri Bergson’s approach to Western modes of representing movement in relation to his concept of duration (la dueé). Bergson argued that mechanised representations of movement distort and simplify the integrity of how subjective time is experienced as a continuous duration. By contrast, film photography and painting predominantly isolate instances of time, provide a snapshot of movement and create discontinuous representations of an inherently continuous process. Through Bergson’s perspective of duration, my paper draws from László Moholy-Nagy’s kinetic artwork, the “Light Space Modulator” (1922–1930) to demonstrate that mechanical presentation and representation of movement complicates Bergson’s three theses of movement. I argue that Moholy-Nagy explores mediated motion to create new rhythms of duration and perceptions of the relationship between time and space.
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