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‘Biospace’ : The visual rhetoric of space in micrographs

Liljefors, Max LU (2018) In Philosophy of Photography 9(2). p.165-184
Abstract
Microscopy can depict small biological entities that are invisible to the naked eye – cells, neurons, chromosomes, molecules, etc. Microbiology thereby grants us visual access to dimensions of our bodily interior that are otherwise imperceptible to us. Often, in micrographs, this infinitesimal inner realm is made to resemble the way cosmic space is represented in astronomical pictures – an ‘aesthetic leap’ that ties the microcosm of the body to the macrocosm of the universe. This article explores how aesthetic conventions in microbiological images create meaning that transcends their empirical content, and examines the historical precedents of these conventions in the history of anatomy and their contemporary cultural implications.
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Philosophy of Photography
volume
9
issue
2
pages
165 - 184
publisher
Intellect Ltd.
ISSN
2040-3690
DOI
10.1386/pop.9.2.165_1
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3b962ee6-8072-4620-891f-c59993f840e0
date added to LUP
2019-05-25 11:31:02
date last changed
2019-07-01 18:14:45
@article{3b962ee6-8072-4620-891f-c59993f840e0,
  abstract     = {Microscopy can depict small biological entities that are invisible to the naked eye – cells, neurons, chromosomes, molecules, etc. Microbiology thereby grants us visual access to dimensions of our bodily interior that are otherwise imperceptible to us. Often, in micrographs, this infinitesimal inner realm is made to resemble the way cosmic space is represented in astronomical pictures – an ‘aesthetic leap’ that ties the microcosm of the body to the macrocosm of the universe. This article explores how aesthetic conventions in microbiological images create meaning that transcends their empirical content, and examines the historical precedents of these conventions in the history of anatomy and their contemporary cultural implications.},
  author       = {Liljefors, Max},
  issn         = {2040-3690},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {165--184},
  publisher    = {Intellect Ltd.},
  series       = {Philosophy of Photography},
  title        = {‘Biospace’ : The visual rhetoric of space in micrographs},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/pop.9.2.165_1},
  doi          = {10.1386/pop.9.2.165_1},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2018},
}