Siri Driessen

Copyright 2007-2014
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Susceptible Eyes

'Susceptible Eyes. Science, Spectatorship and Speculation in Nineteenth-Century Renditions of the Moon' is the title of the Master's thesis in Cultural Analysis I wrote at the University of Amsterdam. The thesis considers an analysis of the introduction of photography into (astronomical) science and tries to expose a changing conceptualization of vision, observation and truth in nineteenth-century scientific texts and images.

My research encompassed photographs of the moon and their derivatives, as well as the many popular and scientific publications that hosted them. My thesis was both a historical narration of the developments that took place when photography found itself incorporated in astronomy – this being a narration that highly focused on the analysis of textual and visual source material – and a theoretical attempt to comprehend the existence of scientific products that paid more attention to narration, experience and imagination than to the presentation of solid scientific knowledge.

image: ink drawing of the surface of the moon by Ladislaus Weinek, 1898.