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Mediated Visions of Life: An Archaeology of Microscopic Theatre

  • Nele WynantsEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Avant-Gardes in Performance book series (AGP)

Abstract

Since its inception, the microscope fulfilled a dual function as an instrument of scientific research and as an amusement device lending itself to playful enquiry. In the early nineteenth century, with the invention of the projection microscope—a magic lantern combined with a microscope—microscopy developed fully as a public spectacle well suited to show business. The projection microscope brought minuscule presences, invisible to the naked eye, into the room on a human scale, almost as if it had taken physical form. Starting from the contemporary work of video artist Sarah Vanagt, this chapter more specifically proposes a media-archaeological perspective on microscopic theatre, and discusses the way in which this historically informed work reflects on the history of vision and the role of science, media, and technology in our contemporary moment.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Free University of Brussels (ULB)BrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.University of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

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