PICT Visiting Lectures IV

On Wednesday, 6 December 2023, The Paris Institute for Critical Thinking (PICT) will hold its 4th Visiting Lecture. Entitled “The Other Age of Enlightenment,” the talk will be held by Ara Kebapcioglu, owner and curator of Lumière de l’oeil, the Parisian museum, library, and workshop devoted to the history of lighting. The event is free and open to the public and will be hosted by the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (ENPC).

The 19th century witnessed tremendous changes in the technology of lighting. Artificial lighting by means of vegetable oil, a method unchallenged since the Neolithic Era, was dethroned by gas-based and finally electrical lighting.

Paris, the “City of Light,” played a central role in the innovation, production, and dissemination of lighting technologies. Improved oil lamps, gas lights, and kerosene lighting competed with gasoline, spirit, carbide, and electric lighting techniques as hundreds of companies vied with each other to illuminate the life of the city and its inhabitants.

How did these developments impact urban infrastructure, culture, and society? How did politics and culture influence the direction of technological change? And how about 19th-century attitudes towards science, technology, and energy consumption? This visiting lecture by Ara Kebapcioglu will open up to all these questions and more!

The talk is free and open to the public.


Wednesday, 6 December 2023, 13:30


École des Ponts ParisTech
Amphi Caquot I

6-8 Avenue Blaise Pascal
77420 Champs-sur-Marne
(RER A Noisy-Champs)

Getting There (Public Transport)

1. Take RER A to Noisy-Champs
2. Leave the station by “sortie 3”
3. Turn left and go straight until you pass Hotel Ibis
4. Take the first right after Hotel Ibis and go straight until you see the campus entrance (security guard cabin) to your left
5. Tell the guard you’re here for the event and ask for directions to “Batiment Coriolis”