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Re-animating an Obsolesced Stereoscopy
conference contributionposted on 2018-02-28, 00:00 authored by Dirk De Bruyn
Stereoscopic photographs were a spin-off from the emergent photography of the late 1800s and beyond. Along with motion pictures, the telegraph and the telephone these photographs were the new media of the early 20th century. Twin stereographs captured cityscapes, iconic tourist attractions and exotic travel destinations. They brought the architecture of industrialized space into the intimacy of the home. Coupled with stereographs, the mobility of car and train travel and the emergence of arcades as concentrated shopping experiences all shifted our thinking and the way we see the world. These new urban attractions coerced the body to create new ways of perceiving public space. The stereoscope transforms the stereograph into a rudimentary three dimensional experience. This paper asks what happens when re-animating stereoscopic images from this period using contemporary digital technology? What new experience can be produced or re-claimed? The accompanying twenty-minute video responds creatively to this question. By drawing parallels between analog and digital media, the resultant discussion enlists Marshall McLuhan’s Third and Fourth of Law of Media Effects: What does the medium retrieve that had been obsolesced earlier? What does the medium reverse or flip into when pushed to extremes?