43. Objectivity by Lorraine Daston & Peter Galison.

Today, OCAC is honored to have a lunch-time talk with Courtney Dodd, our Artist-in-Residence in Photography. According to her artist statement, Dodd’s work “is centered on the idea of seeing and the limits of our perceptions. [She is] interested in the psychological and emotional effects of shifting visual phenomena and [she is] exploring this area through glass’s optical ability to duplicate, reflect, and obscure.” We are very much interested in this topic too, and, we look forward to hearing more about what Dodd has to say. If you’re interested, you’re welcome to come listen to her talk today at 12:45pm in the Centrum Studio.

On a similar note, the library has selected Objectivity by Lorraine Daston & Peter Galison as this week’s library pick.  In this work, Daston and Galison take a long look at the concept of objectivity – especially with respect to how it emerged in the sciences in the mid 19th century and how “lofty epistemic ideals fused with workaday practices in the making of scientific images” (from the publisher).  Chapters of particular interest include:

  • “Photography as science and art,”
  • “Observation and attention,”
  • “Knower and knowledge,”
  • “The real, the objective, and the communicable,”
  • “Accuracy should not be sacrificed to objectivity,”
  • “Representation to presentation,”
  • “Seeing is being: truth, objectivity, and judgement,” and
  • “Seeing is making: nanofacture.”

The authors track the concept of objectivity from its inception as well as compares it with alternative visions that they call “truth-to-nature” and “trained judgement.” Anyone interested in the ideas of perception, truth, knowledge, and how art and science often intersect, will find this book riveting. It’s definitely worth exploring. It just might alter the way you see ……. see art, see photography, see science, and see life.


5 thoughts on “43. Objectivity by Lorraine Daston & Peter Galison.

  1. I just ordered Objectivity at the recommendation of one of my course instructors and it arrived on my doorstep a couple of days ago. Only 22 pages in, but it is well written. Too bad I live so far away from your library, but I’d visit if I could!

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