March 14, 2013
Scientific Truth and Photographic Representation
Tiny, Distant, Rapid Science, Photography and vision
Show us things that no human beings would ever be able to see. Question of
intervention, set of steps that occur btw original stimulus of photograph what’s
represented and the ultimate thing photographer makes it. How appearance of
action on part of photographers is something that questions fundamental properties
of photography being used as scientific proof.
Photographic apparatus with a microscope. In 1840’s there were already
Jules Girard, Wood of a fir tree, magnified 80 and 30 times, respectively, 1868
Two diff levels of magnification. Weakening scientific ground of evidence at stake by
showing both magnifications at the same time on the left its abstracted but 30x
zoomed out still resembles object of wood of tree that were suppose to be looking
at. How can they both be representations of same thing when they look so diff? Diff
to say theirs any view of an object that is more evidentiary than any other.
Thouroude, Collection of Photomicrographs
Scale changing degree of evidentiary solidity in which we see these things. Diff
objects at diff levels of magnification. In upper right bugs that look like bugs at low
magnification but then at top and bottom become fully abstracted to naked eye
captions tell u what ur looking at. Tells us how undefined relationship to objects is
until framed as evidence.
Auguste-Adolphe Bertsch, Birth of a louse, 1853-58
Microphotographs of things that unfold in time. Bertsch great scientific
photographer of middle of century. Movement of louse coming out left behind on
bottom is louse occupation area, top emerging half way. Not just for anatomy and
things that don’t change but also for dynamism, things that happen in time. Tells us
that there is a hesitation abt temporal time bade limitations of some of these photos.
Come can combine magnification beyond human visibility with narrative flow of
time we use to show how complicated things take place.
Unknown Photographer, Saws of a sawfly, magnified sixty-six times
No idea what looking at without a caption. Understand importance of metaphor. One
half of a stereoview
A.W. Bawtree, Eyes of a jumping spider, magnified 25 times (1870)
One half of a stereoview. Turned into stereo cards for purpose of teaching in
classrooms and to be distributed as though looking through microscope themselves.
Jumps out at you, greets ur eyes with its own, reciprocates in its own way.
Stereography heightens reciprocation to a great degree. March 14, 2013
A.W. Bawtree, Mermaid’s fingers, magnified eight times, 1870s
Image out of a book. No one has any idea what it is. Mermaids are not something
photography can prove or disprove. Emblem of way in which scientific photography
tries to attest reliable and same time under cuts reliability. Proof of something we
know doesn’t exist. Viewers may not have been as skeptical abt the existence of a
mermaid. Incompatibility of mode of photography that seeks evidence. Incapable of
attesting to any fact of real world.
Donne and Foucault, Cours de Microscopie 1845
First textbook of microscopie illustrating using photographic images. Things that
come btw photographic representation and representation that results.
Daguerreotypes which were photographic basis of this book were not reproducible
so this left authors with a problem they had an engraver reproduce the images as
engravings and then put in book. Daguerreotype photos couldn’t be reproduced and
distributed even though images were very detailed. The engraver never witnesses
those images himself (what’s going on in the image is what he hasn’t seen), removes
maker of image from observation, because very popular text sells very well reason
being cuz of silent testimony of photography that’s lurking in background. Even with
hand made invention of engraver photographic fidelity that can’t be denied.
Different from human observation.
Seeing through things.
1895 something extraordinary happens. A German Swiss physicist is undertaking
experiments in his lab and as he’s doing this he witnesses strange phenomenon,
which passes through certain kinds of objects and renders their internal
components. Rosentgen notes in his journal discovery X-rays (x to be filled out at a
later time) now known as the X-ray.
Rosentgen, First X-Ray photograph 1895
Represents his wife’s hand. Black spot is her wedding ring. New way of seeing, don’t
mean seeing, new way of imaging. By using technology w can see through solid
objects to know what’s inside them.
The New Rosentgen photography, 1898
Caricature. Photographer saying look pleasant please on the right is the finished
product he’s been using the new roentgen photography A.K.A x-ray. Man
transformed into skeleton of death. Understanding of principals but at the same
time allows us to see things that are invisible, implication of predictions what we
can see through time. He will succumb to death in the future.
Eder and Valenta, Table of the Permeability of various substances to Roentgen
rays, 1896 March 14, 2013
In order to see which kinds of surfaces are going to provide surfaces which most
opaque/translucent. Numbered substances from most transparent to least
Anonymous, X-ray of hand with shots embedded in flesh, 1896
X-ray made in a hospital. Normal human hand, Btw middle finger and ring finger is
a cluster, pieces of shot metal fragments that have come out of a gun. At this
moment amazingly unusual for a physician to know exactly were shots are
embedded, improved surgery as a result.
Albert, Londe, X-ray of a six fingered hand, 1896
Diseased or pathological. Relationship btw inside and outside in way in which
phrenology was also abt relationship btw interior and exterior of human body. Also
btw surface and depth as though looking at root structure of a tree, because in that
pathological finger which splits into two we see through x-ray were deviation is
because lower half looks like the others but we can tell were it went wrong were
single finger branched into two in a way contrast what’s on surface and beyond it is
something that x-rays articulate in a very clear way.
H.H Horne, X-ray of the hand and wrist of Alexandra, Empress of Russia, 1898
Once new technology has proven to be safe but before widely available ppl who
want to test it out are often in elite positions. Not abt diagnostics or medicine but
about novelty of process itself. Hand that looks like any other hand that’s normal,
also see enormous ostentatious jewels, ring and bracelets. Pulling btw idea that
under surface even an empress has a hand that is just a hand that looks like any
other what makes or embellishes her to be more than just a human being are the
external accessories that are added on.
Walter Koenig, Real and fake pearls, 1898
Tells diff btw real and fake gems and jewels. Piece of evidence involving a
disreputable jeweler who had sold fake pearls as real ones. Clever attorney realized
a real and fake pearl diff substances would have diff permeability to rays, so
employed x-ray to prove his client had been doped by dishonest jeweler.
Eugene Ducretet, X-ray of various objects, 1896
Not diagnostic possibility but interested in being introduced to raw power of x-ray.
No diagnostic value at all, don’t tell u anything abt internal components of an
invisible space but rather reinforce basic principal of x-ray. Objects in a box then
subjected to x-ray no insight to structure or function just shows how “cool” it is.
Things in outer space.
Warren de la Rue, Enlarged photographic copy of a photograph of the moon,
mid 1850’s March 14, 2013
Popularized from the beginning, every human being on earth has seen moon.
Understanding of what moon looks like and where it is but thing that is overcome is
matter of distance, pic made at observatory in Middlesex, England. On top of match
are details north and west latitude at which moon observed and dates observed.
Strange adjectives accompany images, “enlarged photographic copy” tell us a lot
were not looking at moon directly but instead an enlargement of a copy of a
photographic 3 degrees of separation. Not looking at enlargement of the moon cuz
photo is small but looking at enlargement of the copy of a photo. Telescopic aided
thing that a man saw, all astronomers of the time were men. Immediacy not at stake
here were not there cuz various interventions