‘Biospace’: The visual rhetoric of space in micrographs
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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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Lund University
Publication date: October 1, 2018
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- Philosophy of Photography is a new peer-reviewed journal devoted to the scholarly understanding of photography. It is not committed to any one notion of photography nor, indeed, to any particular philosophical approach. The purpose of the journal is to provide a forum for debate on theoretical issues arising from the historical, political, cultural, scientific and critical matrix of ideas, practices and techniques that may be said to constitute photography as a multifaceted form. In a contemporary context remarkable for its diversity and rate of change, the conjunction of the terms 'philosophy' and 'photography' in the journal's title is intended to act as a provocation to serious reflection on the ways in which existing and emergent photographic discourses might engage with and inform each other.
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