X-Rays: Technological Revelation and its Cultural Receptions

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    The name ‘x-ray’ was so given to signify the unknown origin of an almost-imperceptible force that could penetrate matter. The discovery of the x-ray further expanded the visual horizon of modern culture’s imagination: newspapers and magazines published thousands of stories about the new sensation in 1896 alone; scientists turned their attention to this mysterious force that would dominate research and scientific publications; within a month x-rays were used to support surgery and within six months used by surgeons to identify bullets within a soldier’s body. Within popular visual culture, x-ray machines appeared as fair attractions – with some exhibitors looking to swap cinematic projections of trains for the x-ray machine’s spectacle of making a state of interiority into an exterior image. Indeed, the relation between the modernity’s new visual media – such as photography, cinema and the x-ray – made a great impression upon the artistic avant-garde through the radical expansion of perception and reality within modern culture.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Edinburgh Companion to Modernism and Technology
    PublisherEdinburgh University Press
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)9781474460569, 9781474460552
    ISBN (Print)9781474460545
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

    Publication series

    NameThe Edinburgh Companion to...
    PublisherEdinburgh University Press


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