The article unfolds a proposal to approach a history of spectacle. With a specific focus on technologies of spectacle it tends to trace the interconnectedness of technics, art and science events across disciplinary and geographical borders at the cusp of modernity around 1800 in Europe. Technics, arts and science went hand in hand to produce a new spectacular knowledge culture resulting from the relation of both analogy and causality between industrial transformation and the social revolution. It is claimed that on the one hand the arrival of new technologies like the steam machine, electricity, magnetism and so on produced the spectacular; on the other hand, spectacular practices like panorama, diorama, and phantasmagoria right up to the melodrama (all emerging in that time) took intrinsically part in the formation of modern societies.

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Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis

Röttger, Kati. (2017). Technologies of Spectacle and ‘The Birth of the Modern World’. A Proposal for an Interconnected Historiographic Approach to Spectacular Cultures. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 20(2), 4–29. doi:10.18146/2213-7653.2017.329