"Who is serving who?” A media critical analysis of a the camera manual since 1888.

Baumann, Dorothee Elisabeth (20 April 2018). "Who is serving who?” A media critical analysis of a the camera manual since 1888. (Unpublished). In: A Three-day Conference on the Archaeology & Future of Photography. Rochester New York USA. 20th - 22th April 2018.

The focus of this research project is the camera manual. The practice of photography changed dramatically since the democratisation of photography linked to the invention of the Kodak No.11invented in 1888. Photography became more and more a progressive practice and the camera itself evolved into a picture production machine. First, by the use of the discourse- and dispositif analysis, I examine the most important camera manuals throughout the history, which fundamentally influenced the practice of photography.

I attempt to analyse the hybrid balance of power between the camera, the manual and the user by the means of the actor-network theory. A manual transmits instructions with the help of images and text, which represent “incorporate“ scripts and in turn continues to be present in the modus operandi. How do these technical applications impact socially, economically and culturally the practice of photography? The camera manual, the user and the camera are brought together in the act of photography - habitus and gestures become only visible in action. Therefore, I will test in a second phase the manuals (scripts) through the means of performance ethnography and will perform the instructions of the camera manuals through reenactment strategies. 1) First compact Kodak camera invented by George Eastwood in 1888. The Kodak box was designed to be operated by amateur photographers without technical knowledge. Kodak Eastwood implemented this camera international in Europe and the US.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Social Anthropology

Graduate School:

Graduate School of the Arts (GSA)

UniBE Contributor:

Baumann, Dorothee Elisabeth


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
700 Arts > 770 Photography & computer art




Dorothee Elisabeth Baumann

Date Deposited:

04 Jul 2019 12:13

Last Modified:

04 Jul 2019 12:13



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