Cultural Studies

Download Lens, Laboratory, Landscape: Observing Modern Spain (SUNY by Claudia Schaefer PDF

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By Claudia Schaefer

An interdisciplinary learn of the increase of empirical remark within the Spanish arts and sciences because the precept automobile for buying wisdom concerning the usual world.

Lens, Laboratory, Landscape makes a speciality of competing perspectives concerning the energy of imaginative and prescient in Spain among the 1830s and the Fifties. The photographic lens, laboratory microscope, “retinal vision” of thinker José Ortega y Gasset, and the topographical reviews of Manuel de Terán are woven jointly in and round a eu cultural milieu that gave remark primacy. For as soon as, Spain—now bereft of its empire—was now not at the open air of such debates. even if within the laboratory, relations domestic, darkroom, artwork gallery, or at the highway, in Cuba or Zaragoza, Madrid or Massachusetts, Spanish artists and scientists have been engaged with the social and monetary strength of remark at a time whilst the rate of recent lifestyles made looking at a problem. Claudia Schaefer brings the applied sciences of the eye—photograph, microscope, lens, instruments for land surveying—to gentle as markers at the nation’s touted route to modernity.

Claudia Schaefer is Rush Rhees Chair, Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature, and Professor of movie and Media reports on the collage of Rochester. She is the writer of numerous books, together with Bored to Distraction: Cinema of extra in End-of-the-Century Mexico and Spain, additionally released through SUNY Press.

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Example text

XVII). These he could examine with “a passionate commitment to suppress the will” (Daston and Galison 143) and be “truthful” in his conclusions. The virtue of objectivity stood squarely at the center of Cajal’s groundbreaking work, and as a clear presence in his qualms about the objectivity of the scientific practices and conclusions as practiced by co–Nobel-winner Camillo Golgi. But it also formed a substantive part of his simultaneous fascination with photography as chemical process and as a visible product.

The mode of the painterly reflected the brushstrokes of the artist, while the camera presumably produced (or reproduced) an image of a different sort, one that accompanied the sentiment of rupture brought by modernity’s attempted break with the past. In the details of photography appear flaws, nuances, facial tics and gestures, glances, and, above all, time made material, visible, and concrete. Maybe what was recognized in a painting now looked very distinct, some hidden nuance having been brought out by the capture of an image on glass, metal, or paper, or some flaw seen for the first time.

Sight itself was as exquisitely alluring as what was observed. Everdell points out in metaphorical terms that the inherited task for the taxonomist and collector “was stamp collecting.  This kind of tireless single-mindedness was very much in the character of Santiago Ramón y Cajal” (101). Yet there had to be more than mere “tenacity” in the shifting of the limits and parameters of one piece of matter or physical structure, and the beginning of the next. There had to be reason and observation. The boundary between the similarities and the differences of two objects was the central focus of any cutting-edge taxonomist, but any method of observing and judging the structural arrangement of properties could always be challenged by technological innovation.

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