Abstract

This article investigates connections between analytical cubism and World War I aerial reconnaissance through their shared discourse of hyperstereopsis. It begins by interrogating a commonplace in art historical accounts of cubism: namely that cubism bears some relation to the view of the earth from an airplane. This speculation, which appears to have originated with Hemingway, Stein, and several other contemporaries of the cubist painters, hinges on certain immediate visual similarities between cubism and aerial views. Such an account, however, addresses neither the optical and epistemological relationships between its subjects, nor its own historiographic assumptions. The essay revisits this pairing between cubism and aerial perspective in a manner that is at once more technically detailed and more historically specific, confining itself to a particular aerial photographic technique (hyperstereoscopy, or stereopsis with a greatly exaggerated interaxial distance) that was coeval with analytical cubism. It argues that analytical cubism and Great War aerial hyperstereoscopy were institutionally disparate manifestations of a single scopic regime, one which recognized the dependence of "normal" visual perception, and particularly stereovision, on the highly contingent physiology of human vision.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6601
Print ISSN
1071-6068
Pages
pp. 349-380
Launched on MUSE
2003-05-16
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.