lightblack, LLC takes its name from a line in Endgame by Samuel Beckett.

Ham: Gray?

Clov: Light black from pole to pole.

I created the LLC as a part of my collaboration with the late Michael H. Shamberg. We had in common a strong affinity for Beckett, and Michael's company, Cascando Studios, also took its name from Beckett. Michael was in debt from making his film Souvenir, and Cascando Studios eventually went under. I had helped Michael to finish "Souvenir" and we decided to continue working together, which included a limited theatrical release of Souvenir through Shadow Distribution. Soon there were other projects in the works as well. I created lightblack, LLC in 2004 primarily to manage this collaboration.

Our first project, Benjamin's Briefcase, which Michael co-wrote with Etel Adnan, was never achieved in its original form, but became p.s. beirut, chapters 1 and 2. We also produced a new video of the New Order song "Temptation" for the collection New Order: Item. The video was titled "The Temptation of Victoria" and featured Victoria Bergsman of the Concretes.

With Tigerlilly films in London, we were in the process of developing a film about the band Joy Division, when Michael fell ill with the progressive, and baffling neurological ailment which would ultimately take his life. After his initial release from the hospital in 2006, and in collaboration with Chelsea Space London, Michael produced the first "turtle" or "turtle, an anarchic salon" - a celebration of art and life amidst adversity and death. The name referenced a sea turtle sanctuary in Lebanon discovered in connection with Benjamin's Briefcase/p.s. beirut. The story can be found on, and Michael continued to organize "turtles" until the very end.

The name lightblack crosses two domains, literally and figuratively; for business/production, and for art.

lightblack, LLC provided logistical help to the turtle salons, and with Michael's ongoing care, but production days were over. I became more involved as an artist with the turtle salons, and as a friend with Michael's care. The LLC remains as a net for or various projects and transactions.

One project which was completed under the auspices of lightblack, which I had very little to do with, was TRIBECA, a film Michael had shot of the Factory Records band A Certain Ratio in 1980. The film had been edited, but must have gotten lost in the chaos around the demise of Factory Records. Then at some point Tony Wilson (himself ill by that time) found the D2 video master and sent it to Michael. It was a simple matter to add the titles and with the help of Jane Nisselson at Virtual Beauty, TRIBECA was completed in 2008, 28 years after it was shot - but not, unfortunately, in time for Tony to see it. As far as I know, the original 16mm film is lost.

The domain was always cryptic - there was no need to advertise - or perhaps just as there might have been, things fell apart. Now, over two years after Michael's death, I am inclined to explain a little, and also let people know where they can look for information on the above mentioned projects.

Ned Richardson

March, 2017