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Towards an Economy of the Body

Bertelli, Linda Towards an Economy of the Body. In: Film Forum 2016 XIV MAGIS International Film Studies Spring School, March 9-15, 2016, Udine/Gorizia, Italy (Unpublished) (2016)

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This paper focuses on three main cases: Étienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904), Georges Demeny (1850-1917) and the Gilbreths (Frank B. Gilbreth, 1868-1924 and Lillian M. Gilbreth, 1878-1972), and their respective studies of movement. More specifically, it investigates Marey’s and Demeny’s experiments with fix plate chronophotography (1883-1886) focused on human locomotion, Demeny’s research with chronophotography on sensitive strip and celluloid film studying gymnastics (1888-1892), and Frank and Lillian Gilbreth’s work on the cyclograph (as expounded in Fatigue Study and Applied Motion Study). Firstly, the paper analyzes the three different procedural protocols of these experiments in order to identify their similarities and differences and to understand what, if any, experimental model they give rise to. It scrutinizes in particular: a) the position of the scientist’s body in the experimental field and its role in theory (the training of the observer’s/scientist’s body); b) the preparation of the body of the subjects to be analyzed (before the experiments) and the way these bodies were posed in the experimental field (during the experiments); c) the status of the camera’s mechanical body. Secondly and finally, the paper aims to show how all these regulatory norms serve and enable a certain economy of the body in two interconnected senses: a) economy as a form of reduction. The paper analyzes different ways the body inside the experimental field is isolated/deleted depending on whether it is the scientist’s body, the subject’s body under analysis or the body of the camera; b) economy as a system of efficiency. Beginning from M. Mauss’s notion of “techniques du corps” as a general theoretical framework as well as specific examples of disciplining effects on individuals (See Phéline, Christian. L'image accusatrice. Laplume, France: Association de critique contemporaine en photographie, 1985), this paper seeks to outline the historical role played by the abovementioned studies of the body in developing efficiency (and its relationship with work) as an object of knowledge.

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: 21 Mar 2016 08:42
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2017 09:15
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/3242

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