The Shadow | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 2, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2045-6298
  • E-ISSN: 2045-6301



In both electronic scanning and film projection the image must disappear for fragments of every second. Where perspective rests on a vanishing point, projection relies on a vanishing instant, the sudden plunge into imperceptible darkness. This article traces the art history of the vanishing of the image in the history of shadow. For Plato, who wants to remove all trace of subjectivity and the doxa associated with it, shadows are evidence of the mediating role of knowledge, which reveals the temporality of truth. Platonic and positivist arguments for, respectively, the untruth or the indexical quality of photography are countered by experimental practices in film and video, which point us towards the constitutive ephemerality of mediated light and its relation with shadow.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Decasia; experimental film and video; index; Lavater; Leonardo; Plato; shadow
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