Noam M. Elcott

Associate Professor

Modern and Contemporary Art and Media
Ph.D., Princeton University, 2009

Contact Information

Phone: (212) 854-7968
Office: 907 Schermerhorn Hall
Office Hours: Thursdays, 11:30-1:00


Noam M. Elcott writes, teaches, and advises students in the history of modern art and media in Europe and North America, with an emphasis on interwar art, photography, and film. His research and teaching combine close visual analysis with media archaeology and critical theory. He also writes and teaches on contemporary art. Recent classes include graduate seminars on the Bauhaus, Dada, Surrealism, Futurism, media architecture, and the avant-garde cinematic imaginary as well as the undergraduate lectures: "Art, Media, and the Avant-Garde," "Histories of Photography," and "Art Humanities."

Elcott is an editor of the journal Grey Room, which brings together scholarly and theoretical articles from the fields of architecture, art, media, and politics. He was educated at Columbia University (B.A. summa cum laude 2000) and Princeton University (Ph.D. 2009) and is the recipient of Fulbright, Mellon, DAAD, and other fellowships.

Elcott is the author of Artificial Darkness: A History of Modern Art and Media (forthcoming from University of Chicago Press). Encompassing diverse figures such as Étienne-Jules Marey and Richard Wagner, Georges Méliès and Oskar Schlemmer, Elcott's book is the first to conceive, historicize, and theorize artificial darkness and the art and media that gave it form. Elcott's second book project locates a cinematic imaginary at the center of wide-ranging practices within and beyond the historical avant-garde. Elcott has also published articles and catalogue essays on Anthony McCall, Stan Douglas, James Welling, the London Film-Makers' Co-op, and other contemporary artists.

Elcott has lectured widely, including upcoming and recent talks at the Museu de Arte de Rio (Brazil), Austrian Film Museum (Vienna), Institut national d'histoire de l'art (INHA) (Paris), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Oslo National Academy of the Arts (Oslo), CUNY Graduate Center (New York), Tate Modern (London), UC Berkeley (California), and Cambridge University (England).

Selected Publications

"In Search of Lost Space: Stan Douglas's Archaeology of Mediated Darkness." October 139 (2012): 151-182.

"Anthony McCall and the Mediation of Immediacy." In Anthony McCall: Five Minutes of Pure Sculpture, 20-53. Berlin: Walther König, 2012.

"Rooms of Our Time: László Moholy-Nagy and the Stillbirth of Multi-Media Museums." In Screen/Space, edited by Tamara Trodd, 25-52. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011.

"Untimely Detritus: Christian Marclay's Cyanotypes." In Christian Marclay: Cyanotypes. Zurich: JRP Ringier, 2011.
Anthologized in On & By Christian Marclay. London: Whitechapel Gallery; MIT, 2014.

"Reflections on Glass Houses." In James Welling: Glass House, 63-92. Bologna: Damiani, 2011.

"Darkened Rooms: A Genealogy of Avant-Garde Filmstrips from Man Ray to the London Film Makers' Co-op and Back Again," Grey Room 30, Winter 2008.