Several months ago, Big Red & Shiny published my essay, “Heidegger on Art as Phenomenon and Light,” which details the philosopher’s purview of art in service to his existential / phenomenological ontology. I explicate his frequently misunderstood text, “The Origin of the Work of Art,” often mistook as a propositional aesthetic theory, and correlate it with several contemporary works of art to demonstrate the usefulness of his ideas, as well as utilize it to assess the state of contemporary art in general. More importantly, however, is the demonstration of how light as an organic element bridges the domains of art and philosophy:
When fluorescent light bulbs suddenly fail, especially in a room illuminated with only a single tube, a new world slowly opens up. No longer useful, the bulb itself is now merely a thing. It’s just there. This new world is dark. It is quieter. The constant faint hum of electricity buzzing through a tube dissipates. This world is confusing since we cannot see without light. This world is perilous as we slam our foot into the unseen tire iron haphazardly jutting into the path we now take, hoping to escape a very dark garage. The hazardous, confusing truth of the world, one that had been covered up underneath light, now makes itself known.