FAH352 Week 7: The Police & the Doctors

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Jordan Bear

Photography March 7, 2013 Mismeasuring Man: Photography, Empire, & Ethnology Charles Darwin, The origin of Species, 1859 Book on modern evolutionary theory. Suggested that Europeans related to African and that al human beings had descended from apes. Way in which it was used was for both extraordinarily important ways of breaking down bold racist conceptions of human history and provided new vocab. Top of darwins family tree of human race was the British then the Africans as primitive race childlike and unintelligent and such inferior races were doomed to wither, be ruled, or destroyed by there superiors. Darwin provided basis for slavery and empire providing bioracional y certain human beings should be able to rule over other types of human beings. The Visual representation became extraordinarily important. One of most offensive of these pseudoscience’s was phrenology which was idea that sizes of diff areas of the brain were meaningful and could be infured by examining the skull (not true) applied theory to diff kinds of skulls that had been acquired and characterized them ex part of brain that localized moral feeling and empathy could presume from shape of skull that they were moral or intelligent etc. Visual representations tended to look like this from an American book. Notion of evolution by natural selection. Temporal aspect put into a racist hierarchy top of which is western European tellingly depicted as a Greek Apollo like statue to the right is his ideal Caucasian skull below him is negro and his skull below him is an ape and its skull. Entire system set up to provide biological rational or basis for why it was that empire needed to exist to civilize and supervise the inferior minds of Africans. Hierarchy justified making ppl in African work as slaves cuz if not properly supervised they would be left to own devices and incapable of governing themselves. Later part of 1850’s is application of photography to this bold enterprise. In 1873 A phrenologist among.. (Samual Borne) published photos not just one photo but two frontal and profile. Importance of profile view for establishing structure of skull therefore brain therefor-moral characteristics is extremely important. Formal motifs arising out of underlying ideology of this project. Skull visible from both angles. “Abdullah”, by Carl Dammann, Ethnological photographic gallery of the various races of men. German raised in Humberg photographer made at least 5 or 6 hundred image pairs like this. Man identified by first name from North African don’t know precisely where. Dual visual representation photo like this would of appealed to photographer is shaved bald head that allows Photography application of those theories to image or project onto the individuals particularly racist believes which justified imperial project that this was in support of. Dammann, Men in a Mock Battle, Australia, 1870 Part of same project as the one above. Staged in studio setting title gives it away “mock battle” not real. Dammann, Austrians, 1870, Whatever scientific pretensions it had was only one part. Painted studio backdrop evoking tropical local involved. Scientific orientation is one demotion in a much larger set of visual representations. John Lamprey, Front & profile views of a Malayan male 1869 English man using familiar duality of frontal and profile but don’t have tropical background w unusual foliage no representational background but rather a grid which looks like a screen we have a real sense of what is at stake in his photos is not setting him in naturalistic location but rather setting up the body of none white man as subject of measure and study which better way than up against a grid which can plot diff features of the body. Communicate that info with other scientists and come to conclusions of how his body reflects colonial and imperial enterprises. (bookb.google.ca photography: A Cultural History-mary warner Marien p.153) Rounding up the Usual Suspects: Photography & the law Foreshadows legal use of photography. Obsessed with organization of bodies considered as other by virtue of their race, social class or their gender. Photography Alphonse Bertillon, Measuring the elbow, from Service d’identification de la Prefecture de police pour L’exposition universelle de Chicago 1893. In 1880s of Paris man raised to fame not a detective but is a scientist or pseudoscientist. System took advantage of metric and apply to system of imaging, storing, and retrieving. Developed system of photographic storage heart of it is issue of measurement. He was convinced that if u could set up enough categories and regularly take those measurements whenever someone came to station figure out way of storing so can be readily retrieved from the system all possible files that match that persons identity. The display that Bertillon made of Columbian exposition in Chicago 1893 demonstrated his system to the public top and bottom view system of measuring length of forearm. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/visibleproofs/galleries/biographies/bertillon.html His system was very intricate. On the left is a guide he printed and distributed to police organizations all around Paris then Europe then North American detailing how measurements should be taken to fit into photographic knowledge. Measuring device on the right that looks like torture device. Each books set around had series of illustrations telling us how to deal with measurement of particularly immeasurable thing like the human ear. In the appendix to this book he included these charts there was one for each minute part of the body this one is abt the ear 12 diff characteristic types of ear slightly diff enough to know which one individual sitting in front of his featured. Plate number 55 in a series. One data point into the system. http://yongsshin.blogspot.ca/2010/04/bertillonage-aka- anthropometry.html Nose here is implicated rough approximation as to which nose matches one in front of you. System breaks down at a certain point cuz he included things like hairstyle Photography which was not ideal if trying to overcome identification of criminals. Willful blindness to characteristics that don’t change like shape of ear and those that change easily like hairstyle ignorance of distinction is clearly wrapped up in evolutionary arguments made since Darwin’s treatise. He becomes early advocate fro use of fingerprints, which really replaces this photographic system which was in use for abt 20years. Bertillon classic frontal and profile view down below is data points written by hand, system of info retrievable optimized by standardizing forms each measurement piece of data that could go into the system. Portrait of the two Will Wests, inmates of the United States Two men both names Will west not very long until they realize they can wreak havoc in the prison by switching places. Look similar not identical. Had them photographed with Bertillon measurements and had them given to security in prison to make sure each dealt with way they were suppose to be. Significant failures, such as the surreal case of Will and William West brought Bertillonage into disfavor. Possibly brothers separated at birth, they grew up as strangers. They were arrested separately and both sent to Leavenworth. Their Bertillon measurements were identical. http://yvesfey.com/paris-3/ Way court system used photography for purpose of characterization civil court and public court. One of 3 known photography he was a baronet heir to a title and a fortune. Roger like many aristocratic ponses of his era goes out in search of himself and ends up in Caribbean and brazil while in brazil received telegram that his father has died and he is know the baronet and he must return to England to claim his title and fortune. On his way back ship he’s on sinks and he is presumed to be dead but his mother back in England clings to believe that maybe he survived cuz some of the shipwreck discovered off cost of brazil some time later. Places advertisements in newspapers, hired private detectives offers enormous rewards goes to physcic who tells her he is alive and well and is her duty that he is given his rightful heritage. A few months into this campaign man emerges and claims he’s her departed son. Trio of photos on the left is photo of roger before his disappearance on the right is the man who claims to be him and middle is highbred of the two in which they were layered on top of each other. Offered not as he was a fraud but that they were one in the same person. Grid placed in front of faces used as had been much earlier to provide set of measurements to the juror as to weather or not he is the son. Can’t superimpose one photo on the other cant abstract any kind of verdict from center image but this was offered by family as prof that he had returned. This didn’t Photography convince judge. Juror man of right sentenced to 14 years in prison. Bareness visited his regularly allowed for his generous maintenance fights her relatives successfully to insure he could be buried in family plot. Grid ultimately tells us very little other than responses that they receive. “The Battle with the Slum” the public health projects of 19 cent industrial cities which are hybrid of legal and medical. Phrase from book by immigrant to New York called Jacob Jacob A Riis: Slum in NY city, Mullen’s Alley, Cherry Alley, 1889 Most prominent ..largely immigrants come from Eastern/central Europe to work in manufacturing in last quarter of 19 cent lower east side of NY most densely popular location. Jacob initially newspaper reported decided to write book on problem of population in NY decided photography must be part of it to see what situation looks like so bad beggars belief. He is someone who wants to produce symphony of ppl who can contribute financially to well being of ppl. Imbedded with NY city department of health whose task is to maintain sanitifidy of living conditions and to reform and assimilate workers into respectable middle class society. Riss is compromised doesn’t think of himself that way. Configuration of urban space in neighborhoods he was investigating often made up of alleyways or areas not on official city streets but which grew up in backs of buildings were u could house someone or have someone work. Geography of Riss’s travels is tricky to pin down place not pinned on map refers to alleyway behind building owned by man named Mullen. Not based on maps or public directories. Jacob Riis, Bandits Roost, 1888 Most famous of his photos. Commandeered by one of street gangs of NY. You see classically perspectival shot into the distance but do
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