Electric Moons: A Social History of Street Lighting in Los Angeles (Hardcover)

Electric Moons: A Social History of Street Lighting in Los Angeles By India Mandelkern, Tom Bertolotti (Photographer) Cover Image
By India Mandelkern, Tom Bertolotti (Photographer)
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Description


Los Angeles is famous for many things: its traffic jams, its taco trucks, the palm trees, the sunshine. Electric Moons: A Social History of Street Lighting in Los Angeles explores one of its most overlooked design legacies--its streetlights.
Today, we may not give streetlights much thought; after all, they're virtually everywhere. But Los Angeles was once known for its breadth of innovative designs: products of an active civic imagination and a well-timed real estate scramble. Much more than devices to illuminate the roads, streetlights helped instill senses of pride and place within a rapidly expanding metropolis, bringing the heavens to human scale. Timeless and modern, venerated and mundane, streetlights connected parochial interests to universal beliefs. They were public art before we had a name for it.
In Electric Moons, India Mandelkern examines the art and politics of street lighting in Los Angeles from the 1880s to the present day. Flitting between social history, cultural anthropology, urban studies, and the history of design, she illustrates how street lighting helped frame larger debates about civics and surveillance, infrastructure and traffic, the definition of public space and who should have access to it. Through her own conversations with the politicians, planners, preservationists, artists, and dreamers who have given them meaning, Mandelkern argues for the streetlight's vitality to urban life: a totem for the modern era.



Product Details
ISBN: 9781955125314
ISBN-10: 1955125317
Publisher: Hat & Beard Press
Publication Date: January 30th, 2024
Pages: 200
Language: English