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Disappearance of Darkness: Photography at the End of the Analog Era [Hardcover]

Robert Burley
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Oct 2012
Over the past decade, photographer Robert Burley has traveled the world documenting the abandonment and destruction of the bricks-and-mortar remnants of the camera and photographic film industry, including Polaroid plants in Massachusetts and the Netherlands and Kodak plants in Rochester, New York, Toronto, and Chalon-sur-Saone, France. The resulting book can be described as a photographic survey of what photography was or has been, in terms of a technology, an enterprise, and an art form. It is also a document of a significant moment in photography s history, a time when technological changes redefined the medium. The essential feature of these factories was darkness--referenced by the title of this book: The Disappearance of Darkness.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1st edition (1 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616890959
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616890957
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 27.9 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 516,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Robert Burley is an established artist who works in photography, video and public installations. His explores the relationship between nature and cities, architecture and the urban landscape. Burley currently teaches at Ryerson University's School of Image Arts in Toronto, Canada.

Product Description


"The Disappearance of Darkness is an exceptional chronicle of photography's 'transition from industrial to information age, ' and I can't imagine any photographer not appreciating this book." -- Photo Life magazine

About the Author

Robert Burley is an established artist whose photographic work explores themes related to landscape and architecture. His landscape work attempts to define the transition between city and country through projects which include ORD: O Hare Airfield, Viewing Olmsted, and The Great Lakes. His commissioned architectural work is well known through the design press and he has completed several self-directed projects, among them The Places of Glenn Gould, Instruments of Faith, and House/Home. Burley s photographs have been extensively published and exhibited, and can be found in numerous museum collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Musee de l Elysee, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Musee des beaux-arts de Montreal. Books featuring the work of Robert Burley include Viewing Olmsted: Photographs by Robert Burley, Lee Friedlander and Geoffrey James, O Hare: Airport on the Prairie, and The Death of Photography: Robert Burley, Michel Campeau, Alison Rossiter. Work from his project "The Disappearance of Darkness" has been exhibited at the Contact Festival in Toronto (2008), Le Mois de la Photo Montreal (2009), and at George Eastman House/International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester (2010). Selected images from this portfolio have been published in North America, Europe, and China over the last two years. Robert Burley lives and works in Toronto where he is Associate Professor at Ryerson University s School of Image Arts.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book 26 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was not expecting this book to be as good as it is. Really excellent and you don't need to be a photographer to appreciate how well written it is. The title of the book is really perfect and that is what initially attracted me to it. The images themselves are apt and of a very high quality.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book was interesting but as a Kodak UK retiree, he neglected the headoffice of Kodak House in Hemel Hempstead and the huge manufacturing facility in Harrow, Middlesex is a mystery. I cannot understand that such a writer that included Ilford Film manufactureing in the UK failed to cover Kodak's. A total neglect of the key UK sites. The fact that Kodak sold the 18 story Kodak House in the 2000's and the effect on our employees makes the book 'less than interesting' from a personal perpective. It could have been much better.

Richard Broden Kodak Limited (retired)
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Elegiac Tone Poem to a Vanishing Wonder 30 Nov 2012
By Rick Grant - Published on Amazon.com
Robert Burley has done the history of analog film a great justice with this book. His prose, and of course his photographs, documenting the world's unstoppable move over to digital photography is a fine and final send off for a medium that truly did change the world.

This is a wonderful merging of writing and photography tinged with sadness for a passing giant.

Film will continue to be used for decades by some but there are now new born generations of photographers who have never seen it. There are as well passing generations of old photographers who don't miss it at all.

But in reading Mr Burley's book I got a real feeling of what a thundering giant in the world of Art film once was.

His quoting of Shelley's "Ozymandias" is truly apt. The last two lines of that poem capture the glory that once was, and has now faded.

"Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away."
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The creative destruction of the digital age" 12 Dec 2012
By Rick Vivian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A beautifully presented chronicle of a bygone era in photography and the demise of the "analogue process".
Curator Alison Nordstrom states in an accompanying essay: "We can hold this book in our hands and turn the pages for our
children, and tell them what we remember of a different time from theirs."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very deep inside the end of an era 5 Jan 2014
By Paulino Vito Varela - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I enjoyed every word of this book. I know that the past is a lonely place to stay, but the way the book was written made me recall when i used to have Kodak as a reference, both products and business. I live in Brazil, in a town named Sao Jose dos Campos and we had, ten years ago, one good Kodak operation here, I guess more than 2000 employees. Now the plant is closed, the main build still exists but the land is for sale. One lonely faded billboard still says KODAK.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book will be Remembered in years to come 12 May 2013
By Adam North - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a sad moving documentary of the demise of photographic film manufacturing
I am still digesting through the book
I am pleased there is a documentary on the demise of photographic film manufacturing before too late
This book will be Remembered in years to come
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia at its finest 28 Feb 2013
By Bert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A personal journey of an industry coming to terms with its own demise. Very sad to read through this book as a film user of many years. I am very happy Mr. Burley took the time to do this for all the rest of us.
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