University Seminar: History and Influence of Rock-n-Roll Lighting Design and Technology
Instructor: R. Lee Kennedy
Department: Drama

Description: History of lighting design and technology related to the rock concert as a modern performance medium. Influences of the concert lighting aesthetic and specialized concert lighting technology on human visual processing and its application to current modes in theatre, television, film and other entertainment media.

Expanded Description: The seminar will focus on three key areas related to entertainment lighting technology: 1) the history and development of lighting as an integral element of the modern concert performance medium, 2) the influences of concert lighting design on other entertainment media including, music video, television, theatre, industrial shows, and architectural lighting applications, 3) the interrelationship between sophisticated live lighting systems and trends in film, music, and television towards increasingly rapid imaging and more sophisticated use of technology.

Structure: The basis for the seminar will be a history of the development of lighting as an element in the rock concert performance medium. This will be done through the use of video and other visual reference material combined with a significant amount of discussion. Additionally students will have the opportunity for hands on live demonstrations of some of the lighting technologies covered in the course. Students will write responses and formulate ideas about the contributions of lighting design and technology to the over-all experience of the concert and will pursue focused individual research into specific areas of interest.

Purpose: By exposing students to an exciting contemporary form of visual expression integral to so many popular entertainment forms, new students will be introduced to the area of lighting design. Students will gain an appreciation and understanding of the sophisticated technologies and aesthetic history behind concert lighting and its influence on other media. Students will experience the challenges of critical thinking both in discussing the development of lighting image/technology and in doing research into a field about which little has been written.