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The technical image : a history of styles in scientific imagery / edited by Horst Bredekamp, Vera Dünkel, and Birgit Schneider.

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About this work

Also known as

Technische Bild. English. no2015099285


"In science and technology, the images used to depict ideas, data, and reactions can be as striking and explosive as the concepts and processes they embody--both works of art and generative forces in their own right. Drawing on a close dialogue between the histories of art, science, and technology, The Technical Image explores these images not as mere illustrations or examples, but as productive agents and distinctive, multilayered elements of the process of generating knowledge. Using beautifully reproduced visuals, this book not only reveals how scientific images play a constructive role in shaping the findings and insights they illustrate, but also--however mechanical or detached from individual researchers' choices their appearances may be--how they come to embody the styles of a period, a mindset, a research collective, or a device. Opening with a set of key questions about artistic representation in science, technology, and medicine, The Technical Image then investigates historical case studies focusing on specific images, such as James Watson's models of genes, drawings of Darwin's finches, and images of early modern musical automata. These case studies in turn are used to illustrate broad themes ranging from "Digital Images" to "Objectivity and Evidence" and to define and elaborate upon fundamental terms in the field. Taken as a whole, this collection will provide analytical tools for the interpretation and application of scientific and technological imagery." -- Publisher's description.


Chicago : The University of Chicago Press : New York City : Published in association with the Bard Graduate Center, 2015.

Physical description

x, 198 pages : illustrations (some colour) ; 25 cm

Bibliographic information

Includes bibliographical references (pages 182-192) and index.


Foreword / Peter Miller -- Introduction: the image: a cultural technology: a research program for a critical analysis of images / Horst Bredekamp, Birgit Schneider, Vera Dünkel -- Methods. Discourses about pictures: considerations on the particular challenges : natural-scientific pictures pose for the theory of the picture / Gabriele Werner -- Comparing images. A history of styles of technical imagery: between description and interpretation: a conversation with Horst Bredekamp -- Iconological analysis. Beyond the icons of knowledge: artistic styles and the art history of scientific imagery / Matthias Bruhn -- Case studies. Interacting with images: toward a history of the digital image: the case of graphical user interfaces / Margarete Pratschke -- Digital images. Pictorial tradition and difference: visual knowledge in acquisition science: the case of scanning tunneling microscopy / Jochen Hennig -- Chains of representations. Thinking with models: on the genesis of James Watson's molecular biology of the gene / Reinhard Wendler -- Arranging images as tableaux. Technological image series: the project "technik im bild" at the Deutsches Museum, Munich / Heike Weber -- Observation techniques. In the eye of the beholder: Emanuel Goldberg's apparatuses at the international photographic exhibition, Dresden 1909 / Franziska Brons -- Objectivity and evidence. X-ray vision and shadow image: on the specificity of early radiographs and their interpretations around 1900 / Vera Dünkel -- Visuality, Visualizing, Imaging. Instrument-aided vision and the imagination: the migration of worms and dragons in early microscopy / Stefan Ditzen -- Image noise. Programmed images: systems of notation in seventeenth- and eighteenth century weaving / Birgit Schneider -- Diagrammatics. Early modern images of musical automata: on Athanasius Kircher's Trompe- L'Oreille contemplations in the Quirinal gardens in Rome / Angela Mayer-Deutsch -- Popularizing science. Drawing and the contemplation of nature: natural history around 1600: the case of Aldrovandi's images / Angela Fischel.

Language note

Translated from the German.


  • English

Where to find it

  • LocationStatus
    History of Medicine
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  • 9780226258843
  • 022625884X