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What the Aeronauts Knew: First Principles of the Aerial View

September 24, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

We have all seen our city from above. We might have even taken photographs from the window of an airplane. We know what it means to have an aerial view. But the way we look down from an airplane today is much different from how aeronauts looked down from balloons in centuries past. In this talk, Patrick Ellis recovers the wisdom of the aeronauts, using balloon photography to reveal the forgotten first principles of the aerial view. This discussion will draw from aerial photography held in FMoPA’s collection and Ellis’ new book, Aeroscopics: Media of the Bird’s-Eye View.

Patrick Ellis is an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Tampa. 

Ellis has work published in The British Journal for the History of ScienceEarly Popular Visual CultureThe Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, and Imago Mundi. His book, Aeroscopics: Media of the Bird’s-Eye View, provides a history of aerial vision in the era prior to commonplace flight. It is forthcoming from University of California Press in 2021. He takes a hands-on approach to teaching media history, a topic he explored in a recent co-authored article, “Object Lessons, Now and Then: Experimental Media Archaeology in the Classroom.” He earned teaching awards at both UC Berkeley and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Ellis also does curatorial work and has programmed screenings or exhibits for the Center for Puppetry Arts (Atlanta), the Media Archaeology Lab (Boulder), the Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley), and the Wolfsonian Museum (Miami), among others.

This event starts at approximately 6 PM. 


September 24, 2021
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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