Date: Thu, 07 Mar 2013 11:47:22 +0000
From: marc garrett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [NetBehaviour] Illusions In Motion | Media Archaeology of the
Moving Panorama & Related Spectacles.
To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
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Illusions In Motion | Media Archaeology of the Moving Panorama & Related
Book by Erkki Huhtamo.
Beginning in the late eighteenth century, huge circular panoramas
presented their audiences with resplendent representations that ranged
from historic battles to exotic locations. Such panoramas were immersive
but static. There were other panoramas that moved?hundreds, and probably
thousands of them. Their history has been largely forgotten. In
Illusions in Motion, Erkki Huhtamo excavates this neglected early
manifestation of media culture in the making. The moving panorama was a
long painting that unscrolled behind a ?window? by means of a mechanical
cranking system, accompanied by a lecture, music, and sometimes sound
and light effects. Showmen exhibited such panoramas in venues that
ranged from opera houses to church halls, creating a market for mediated
realities in both city and country.
In the first history of this phenomenon, Huhtamo analyzes the moving
panorama in all its complexity, investigating its relationship to other
media and its role in the culture of its time. In his telling, the
panorama becomes a window for observing media in operation. Huhtamo
explores such topics as cultural forms that anticipated the moving
panorama; theatrical panoramas; the diorama; the “panoramania” of the
1850s and the career of Albert Smith, the most successful showman of
that era; competition with magic lantern shows; the final flowering of
the panorama in the late nineteenth century; and the panorama’s
afterlife as a topos, traced through its evocation in literature,
journalism, science, philosophy, and propaganda.