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2017 - ASEH Annual Conference Words: 179 words || 
1. Pritchard, Sara. "Changes in the Nightscape: Light Pollution, Regimes of (Im)perceptibility, and History in Artificial Light at Night Imagery" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL, <Not Available>. 2020-02-22 <>
Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: Only recently have scientists from a range of disciplines begun studying the complex effects of artificial light at night (often called light pollution) on humans and non-humans. This paper examines how visualization techniques and visual imagery have played key roles in the materialization and ultimately legitimation of this emergent socio-environmental problem for both scientific communities and the general public. Building on and extending Michelle Murphy’s concept of “regimes of (im)perceptibility,” I analyze four influential visualizations of light pollution since 1973. I show how these images represent not only nightscapes, but night skies over time in order to reveal the gradual brightening of nocturnal environments by artificial light at night since the late nineteenth century and especially since World War II. Although the visualization techniques vary—from “low-tech” cameras to high-modernist satellite imagery from space—the resulting images materialize, make visible, and thus (literally) perceptible what psychologist Peter Kahn calls “environmental generational amnesia” and ecologists call “shifting baselines” with respect to nighttime skies. Together, visual imagery and historical perspectives help light pollution scientists make their case against “the loss of the night.”

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