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Hybrid Photography: Intermedial Practices in Sciences and Humanities


Conference at the Humboldt University Berlin


Venue: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Senatssaal, Unter den Linden 6

Dates: 19.-21.02.2015

Conception: Sara Hillnhütter, Stefanie Klamm, Friedrich Tietjen


With the introduction of photographic processes the role of images in sciences and humanities underwent a fundamental shift: While the graphic images used before tended to aim at a generalization, with photography the images were often understood to be free of interferences and to have been assigned properties of the depicted object itself. Consequently, these images became objects of scientific examination and perception. However they were – and still are – imbued with a medial hybridity as a variety of non-photographic manual and mechanical techniques needs to be applied for making photographs usable for their specific purposes: the objects often need to be staged for the picture; what is considered to be accidental or/and erroneous in the photograph is removed by retouching while other details may be enhanced; and for the reproduction in print the images have to be transferred to printing blocks with the help of manual or technical means. While images of more recent techniques such as sonography or magnet resonance imaging (MRI) can resemble photographic ones, generating them usually does not involve cameras or emulsions.

The conference Hybrid Photography: Intermedial Practices in Sciences and Humanities explores the territories where manual, graphic, photographic, and digital techniques interfere and interlace in sciences and humanities. It operates on the assumption that when photography was introduced, it did not oust other methods of image production but rather became part of ever more specialized and sophisticated technologies of representation. The epistemological break commonly set with the advent of photography since the 19th century probably has been triggered by photographic techniques but certainly owes much to the availability of a plethora of hybrid media – media that influence the relation of sciences, humanities, and their methods and subjects.


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Tagungsmappe als PDF downloaden

















Thursday, 19.02.2015

9:30 a.m.
Introduction (Matthias Bruhn, Sara Hillnhütter, Stefanie Klamm, Friedrich Tietjen)

Moderation: Friedrich Tietjen

Hybrid Matter

Estelle Blaschke/Berlin: Textual Photography: The Rise and Imaginary of Microfilm
Jennifer Tucker/Middletown: Going Viral: How Popular Media Changed Scientific Photography
Kelley Wilder/Leicester: Stereo Atlases as Hybrid Knowledge
Commentary: Jens Schröter/Siegen

12:00 lunch break

Measuring within Distance

Omar Nasim/Kent: Photography and Hybrid Images in the History of Science: The Case of Astronomical Practice
Charlotte Bigg/Paris: The Carte du Ciel as Enterprise of Research into Photographic Techniques
Helmut Völter/Leipzig: Masanao Abe: The Movement of Clouds around Mount Fuji
Commentary: Geoffrey Belknap/Leicester

15:30 coffee break

Sara Hillnhütter/Berlin: Depicting History: Measuring Architecture by means of Photography as a Strategy against Time
Michael Kempf/Cologne: Photomapping between Image Noise and Navigational Knowledge: Theodor Scheimpflug’s Balloon Aerial Photography
Commentary: Luisa Feiersinger/Berlin

Evening lecture
18:30 Jimena Canales/Urbana: Recording Devices and the Fantasy of a World without Humans
Moderation: Matthias Bruhn/Berlin

Afterwards: Wine reception


Friday, 20.02.2015

Moderation: Stefanie Klamm & Olga Smith

Measuring the Human

Paula Muhr/Berlin: The Photography-based Construction of Medical Knowledge in Relation to Hysteria
Vera Dünkel/Berlin: Beyond Retouching: Hans Virchows' Mixed Media and his Drawn X-Rays of the Chinese Foot
Commentary: Franziska Kunze/Berlin

11:30 coffee break

Linda Bertelli/Lucca: Étienne-Jules Marey: The Iconographic Migration and the Independence of the Image
Beatrix Pichel/Leicester: Between Science and Art: Chronophotography and Drawings as Research Tools in Physiology
Commentary: NN

13:15 lunch break

Dennis Improda/Hannover: How Breath Turns into Light: Spirometric Measurements Using Instant Photography
Kathrin Friedrich/Berlin: Translating Tumors: Images as Relations in Radiation Surgery
Anna Roethe/Berlin: Hybrid Operatives: Multimodal Vision and Image Control in the OR
Commentary: Harry Rotert/Heidelberg

17:00 coffee break

Herbert Justnik/Vienna: Ethnology Makes itself and its Images
Sigrid Lien/Bergen: Scrutinizing Lives and Bodies: Photography between Nation-building and Ethnology
Commentary: Ewa Manikowska/Warsaw


Saturday, 21.02.2015

Moderation: Sara Hillnhütter & Stefanie Gerke

Generating Knowledge: Visualizations and Variations

Sigrid Schulze/Berlin: Seen from Above: Photographs of Terrain Models by Hermann und Adolph Schlagintweit 1854
Stefanie Klamm/Berlin: Reconfiguring the Use of Photography in Archaeology
Commentary: Mirjam Brusius/Oxford

11:30 coffee break

Alexander Gall/Munich: Retouching, Staging and Authenticity: Early Animal Photography and the Tradition of Popular Zoological Illustration around 1900
Alexander Streitberger/Louvain: Embalmed Reality: Diorama, Photography, Taxidermy
Commentary: Felix Sattler/Berlin

13:15 lunch break

Dagmar Keultjes/Florence: Hybrid Negatives: Techniques of Manipulating Paper and Glass Negatives 1840-1900
Friedrich Tietjen/Vienna: Photography as Measurement
Commentary: Claudia Pfeiffer/Berlin

16:00 coffee break


Andreas Meyer/Hamburg: Particle Trajectories: From Bubble Chambers to Event Displays
Moritz Queisner/Berlin: Image-guided Vision: Hybrid Forms of Agency in Real-time Imaging
Commentary: Jochen Hennig/Berlin

18:00 Final discussion