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Étienne-Jules Marey: Iconographic Migration and the Independence of the Image

Bertelli, Linda Étienne-Jules Marey: Iconographic Migration and the Independence of the Image. In: Hybrid Photography: Intermedial Practices in Sciences and Humanities, February 19 - 21, 2015, Das Technische Bild Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Unter den Linden 6 10099 Berlin (Unpublished) (2015)

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Firstly, this paper seeks to trace the trajectory of certain specific practices of iconographic migration in the work of French physiologist Étienne-Jules Marey. In particular, it analyzes the graphic treatment applied to chronophotographic images to prepare them for inclusion in Marey’s texts. This process of graphicalizing photographic images so they could be included in printed texts, which was necessary as, at that time, it represented the only means of reproducing photographic images together with text, was an obligatory step that also granted the image increased readability and meaning: through this process of reformulation, the image gained independence and a life of its own separate from the corporeality of the subject being represented, and it was this separation that endowed the image with its character of objectivity. The paper will thus analyze the foundations of this independence of the image, examining what kind of event these images represented and, concurrently, what statute of vision these images contributed to establishing. To this end, the paper seeks to locate the techniques used to produce these images within a history of practices of educating, training and disciplining the eye of the observer. It will thus focus on the nexus where techniques of the observer and practices of objectivity intersect: efforts to force the drawing hand to mimic the precision of a millimeter-scaled grid or to induce the eye to observe the movements of a wing in flight were aimed at both producing an image that would be tantamount to objective proof of the hypothesis in question and, at the same time, training the observer as a specific kind of the scientific Self [See L. Daston and P. Galison, Objectivity, New York: Zone Books, 2007, p. 38]. Lastly, this paper seeks to show how this process of transforming the photographic image into an illustration, a direct legacy of the graphic method, is wholly analogous to the process used in the same period to construct iconographic categories and traditions in both the field of scientific anthropology, clinical neurology and criminal typing, as well as the sphere of publishing and popular illustrations. The paper will thus discuss the relationship between the pathways and modes characterizing the image’s movement across multiple media and the construction of the idea of “type”.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
T Technology > TR Photography
Research Area: Economics and Institutional Change
Depositing User: Linda Bertelli
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2015 08:11
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2015 08:11
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/2623

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